Citywide Services Directory
Lummis Home and Gardens
200 East Avenue 43, Los Angeles, CA 90031
The Lummis Home, a 4,000-square-foot Rustic American Craftsman stone house built in the late 19th century, is on the National Register of Historical Places and was designated as Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument # 68 on September 2, 1970, as well as, California Historical Landmark # 531 on March 7, 1955.
Named “El Alisal” ("Place of the Sycamore Trees") by Charles Fletcher Lummis, he constructed the entire home with his own hands using stones and granite boulders gathered from the Arroyo, concrete, and wood, as well as, the assistance of a few Native American laborers he had trained in carpentry. Taking thirteen years to build, 1896 to 1910, the design of the home is influenced by mission architecture and the dwellings of the Pueblo Indians. El Alisal referenced its surroundings and provided sanctuary from the rapid industrialization of Los Angeles.
Charles Fletcher Lummis (1859-1928), author, editor, poet, athlete, librarian, historian, activist, photographer, anthropologist, preserver of Spanish missions, and advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt on Indian Policy, is quoted as saying, “Any fool can write a book and most of them are doing it; but it takes brains to build a house.”
In May of 1894 he purchased two adjacent lots by the Arroyo Seco for $650. Once it was fully completed, El Alisal acted as a social anchor for the burgeoning bohemian community, hosting parties - which he called "noises" - that attracted well-known residents of the city, as well as characters and intellectuals from Garvanza and beyond.
The site currently includes drought-tolerant and native plant gardens encompassing the grounds and natural landscapes around the residence, including namesake El Alisal California Sycamore trees.
The Lummis Home, El Alisal, is a familiar landmark and a point of pride in the community of Highland Park. The City of Los Angeles, Department of Recreation & Parks is currently operating this site, and opens the doors to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 3pm for free tours. No reservations are required.