Silver Lake is an area of Los Angeles known for the diversity of its neighborhoods, some of the trendiest homes in the area, and relatively modest prices. It is considered to have a bohemian vibe due to the diversity of its artistic culture, as well as being the only high-priced area in Los Angeles where the majority of its residents are not white.
Silver Lake is actually half of a man-made reservoir area that was divided in 1906. The lower half, Silver Lake, is named after Herman Silver, one of the original members of the first Los Angeles Board of Water Commissioners. It currently supplies water to the city, but it will be shut down sometime in the future. Walt Disney’s first studio was built here in the 1930s, as was Tom Mix’s studio. The area is now overseen by the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council, whose mission is to “promote greater citizen participation in government and make government more responsive to local needs through a network of neighborhood councils throughout the city.”
To this end, they have been very successful. Silver Lake is the center of the alternative rock and indie scene in Los Angeles. The Sunset Junction Street Fair is held every year in August. It has also been home to many musicians, including Beck, Jane’s Addiction, Porno for Pyros, Henry Rollins, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Tom Waits. It is sometimes referred to as the “Williamsburg of the West”, and is compared to the borough of New York City.
Silver Lake contains some of the most famous Modernist architecture in North America. Architect Richard Neutra, the designer of many homes in the area, built his own home on Silver Lake Boulevard. Other notable houses and buildings include: the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization geared toward music education; the Lipetz House, designed by Raphael Soriano and built to house an outstanding music hall that ended up being chosen as one of four buildings in the United States for the 1937 International Architecture Exhibition in Paris, earning Soriano the award Prix de Rome; the model home, designed by William Kesling to offer a great canyon view; and the Canfield-Moreno Estate, a 22,000-square-foot country villa designed by Robert Farquhar, and rented these days by many musicians as a residence and recording studio, although it is said to be haunted. Silver Lake seems to be the place even for actors to want to produce music, like Keifer Sutherland, who has a residence here with a full recording studio.
What makes the neighborhood unique in style and culture is its majority Latino population and a safe haven for the gay and lesbian community. The mixture of these two cultures, as well as many others, is reflected in the restaurants and shops in the area, and mixed with the different musical styles, it is not surprising that Silver Lake is a popular nightlife destination.
It is also a relatively profitable area to live. Median home prices are $ 545,000, where the highest home prices can approach $ 4 million, but you can actually find homes for less than $ 100,000 in the area as well. This shows that Silver Lake has something for everyone, which is their mission.