By design, Wyvernwood was intended to build and foster community, providing quality housing for working-class people and using architecture to improve their lives. When opened in 1939, Wyvernwood was the first large-scale garden apartment development to be built in Los Angeles. It followed progressive garden city planning principles of the time, including creating both large and intimate green open spaces to provide a garden-like setting and separating cars from pedestrians to enhance safety.
Wyvernwood is a close-knit community, where people have built lives, families, and strong social connections over generations—a rarity in a city as large as Los Angeles. Despite the rhetoric and pretty pictures of the proposed project, what makes Wyvernwood special and irreplaceable cannot be replicated or simply transported to a “New Wyvernwood.”
What made Wyvernwood and other Los Angeles garden apartments innovative, livable, and sustainable in the early twentieth century still holds true today. We will never again have these kinds of places, so we must preserve them while we can. This matters not just to the residents of Wyvernwood and Boyle Heights but to all the people of Los Angeles who love and appreciate the quality garden apartments.
Dear member of the Los Angeles City Council:
I am writing to express my opposition to the proposed demolition of the approximately 1,200 units of rent controlled housing at the Wyvemwood community. I oppose replacing this historic garden community with 4,400 units of housing. The tenants and surrounding neighbors will endure dust, noise, debris and exposure to toxic substances resulting from the proposed construction for a decade. Boyle Heights already bears the brunt of over-development including the convergence of numerous freeways, adjacent industrial areas and numerous other proposed development projects.
The Boyle Heights Community cannot support the proposed increase in density. The increase in traffic alone will choke this already overburdened community. The loss of rent-controlled housing is also unacceptable. 660 deed restricted units for seniors are insufficient to house the current population. Rent control protects housing indefinitely. The promise to house 660 low-income people is temporary. Moreover, the likelihood of displacing current tenants is too great. The owner's claims to the contrary are legally unenforceable.
I support progress and development of our communities. What I am opposed to is the gentrification of our neighborhoods and historic communities.
For these reasons, I urge you to vote against Fifteen group's proposal to demolish and redevelop the Wyvernwood Community.