Welcome to Curbed's first-ever Micro Week, five days' worth of stories, photos, and minuscule floorplans that celebrate the grand tradition of small-space living. We'll tour small homes, explore the city's smallest neighborhood, and so much more!
You might know the names of the longest streets in Los Angeles: Sepulveda, Figueroa, Sunset, Wilshire. But what about the shortest? Powers Place, in the historic Alvarado Terrace section of Pico-Union, runs for a delightful 13 feet. Laid in brick, the street connects Alvarado Terrace (the street) with Bonnie Brae on the northern edge of Terrace Park, an adorable little square with lawns and benches and palms of varying height.
The street is named for one Pomeroy Wills Powers, a Kansas City attorney who made his money and his name developing property in Los Angeles around the turn of the Twentieth Century—we also have him to thank for Inglewood's massive cemetery. He served as president of the LA City Council from 1900 to 1902, when he ran an unsuccessful campaign for mayor.
Powers Place and Terrace Park have been a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument since 1979. The six houses that make up Alvarado Terrace (one of which belonged to PW Powers himself) were built on lots sold for $10, on the condition that the owner put up a house worth at least $4,000 (in 1902 dollars). Architectural style varies from Craftsman to Victorian to Mission to Tudor, and they've all been HCMs since 1971.
Today, children walk home from school through the neighborhood, as life in vibrant Pico-Union carries on all around. Powers Place is mostly used for u-turns.
· Micro Week 2015 [Curbed LA]