We got some answers, made some guesses and did some speculation. Fantastic. Thanks for participating and for next week please email us your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Westlake/Pico-Union: The homes you're seeing on Alvarado, looking out of place, are the result of a move that generated news last summer. Brady Westwater links us to a post on the Pico-Union blog, which says: "Two historic Los Angeles houses in the Pico Union neighborhood will be moved about a half-mile down the street. In their new, 27,600-square-foot location at 1115 S. Alvarado St., the two homes will be refurbished and serve as a new home for youth education programs."
2) Downtown: We were hoping Eric Richardson or Brady Westwater could answer this question, since it's their 'hood. Brady comes through again in regards to the scaffolding at the Pershing Square Building at 448 S Hill Street: "New owner is going to keep as long term offices. Re-doing building floor by floor and restoring its historic character plus taking out false ceilings and making the offices more loft-like." Thanks Brady!
3) Westlake: Hmmm... the ugly parking lot at Hoover and Wilshire is indeed big and ugly. While many of the Downtown and Hollywood parking lots are getting redeveloped, some of the spots in between have not been targeted yet. Maybe they'll sprout some lofts in the next building boom. Or as Pete says in the comments: "Just wait a few more years for Westlake to start really hopping and there'll probably be another Korean mall there."
4) Old Timey Los Angeles: The reader with the question about the flashcards with zoning/land use lessons is from the midwest. Unfortunately, nobody has similar memories of such a game.We tried tracking down what it might be. Maybe CLUG (Community Land Use Game)? We're not sure how this is played, but it sounds sort of similar. Sorry.
For next week email us your questions. Thanks.