In Place: Atwater Village

With the rise of Westside home prices, buyers are being drawn to the neighborhoods of Northeast LA. Many are discovering that Atwater Village, with its collection of charming 1920s to 1940s Spanish Revival homes and small-town appeal, is the ideal place to be.


One of the most ethnically and economically diverse communities in LA, Atwater Village lies along the Los Angeles River west and south of Glendale, also bordering Silver Lake, Elysian Valley and Glassell Park. Los Feliz and Griffith Park are across the river. The area is also bordered by the Golden State and Glendale Freeways. it’s a place where artists, young professionals, working class people and residents who’ve been here for generations live side by side. 


Much of Atwater lies in the old river flood plain that created the deep, fertile soil local gardeners still enjoy today. Originally a part of Rancho San Rafael, it emerged as one of several subdivisions, named Atwater Tract for its position near the river – “at-water.” Later, newly prosperous workers, including many employed by the nearby DWP substation and the railroad yards, moved in. Many of the Spanish-style houses and bungalows built in the 1920s to 1940s retain their original details.  The arrival of the Pacific Electric Railway “red cars” down Glendale Boulevard boosted growth. 

Atwater Village is home to one of the oldest restaurants in LA County, the Tam O’Shanter Inn (est. 1922). Disney animators regularly drove from Silver Lake across the new Hyperion Bridge to eat at the Tam O’Shanter, helping to make the neighborhood a destination. It was also known for Franciscan Pottery, a famed  manufacturer of pottery and dinnerware. Today, the neighborhood is home to a rich mix of businesses along Glendale Boulevard, with happening new bookstores alongside classic places like Club Tee Gee. Some of the city’s best watering holes can be found on Los Feliz Boulevard.

After a devastating flood in 1938, the LA River was made a concrete channel – but the LA River Revitalization project is now working to return it to a more natural state. Atwater Village river attractions include Atwater Riverwalk, one of the first and largest pocket parks along the Glendale Narrows; and Red Car River Park, set by the ruins of an old Red Car bridge.


Despite the incursion of the river channel and two freeways, Atwater Village has kept much of the character that’s attracting a new generation of buyers to its character-filled neighborhoods. 

Our colleagues, Sheri Curtis and Kevin Bourland have just listed a prime example of Atwater charm: a lovingly reclaimed Tudor Revival complete with guest house. Set behind gates on desirable Glenfeliz Boulevard, it’s offered at $1,149,000.