DIY Community Arts Center: El Sereno Bungalow Project

Residents and supporters came out Saturday to tour the Caltrans owned Bungalows in El Sereno, which are expected to be converted into a community center. Kris Fortin/LAStreetsblog

Signs posted on the doors of the boarded up  El Sereno Bungalows are also dreams nearly realized. One yellow sign tapped to the 1920s buildings say “dance studio”, another “community kitchen.”

At last Saturday’s tour of the El Sereno Bungalows off of Huntington Boulevard, residents and supporters got a first glimpse at would could be a local community space in an area that lacks the type of recreation. The El Sereno Community Arts Center, which would be built inside the existing, abandoned buildings, would be complete with a garden, dance studio, and a tiendita, a small vending shop.

The eight buildings, which are owned by Caltrans, have been vandalized and left neglected for years. Yet, aside from an exterior cosmetic cleanup of the facades, and the gutting of the interior to make a more flexible space, there is no strucutral damage to the building, said Rey Gutierrez, freelancer at Ambulante Design Studio.

Those neglected buildings, which still show some scars from being used by drug abusers as safe-houses and places to complete business, can be reborn as a true community space.

The Bungalow Collective is a volunteer-run group of El Sereno natives or residents that have been working to convert the abandoned buildings into a community center. The Bungalow collective raised more than $10,000 from their Indiegogo campaign last September to refurbish and repurpose the abandoned buildings.

Here are some photos of the bungalows: