Here's Your Chance To Own A House-Sized Tamale

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Fri, Apr 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM
  • Los Angeles Public Library

We know you love your Mexican food, you Rick Bayless-worshipers.

So here's your chance to really prove your dedication to all things south-of-the-border. Here's your chance to own a house-sized tamale. Really:

"The Tamale," a famous East L.A. area structure that housed, yes, a "tamale pie"-and-hamburger stand, is up for sale.

Imagine telling you're friends that you are, literally, the stuffing in a larger-than-life tamale. And it's only $459,000, a bargain around these parts.

The circa-1920s building is part of a dying breed of "programmatic" SoCal architecture that included the Brown Derby (shaped like a hat), Tail O' The Pup (a hot dog) and The Donut Hole (more doughnut than hole).

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Alas, the kind folks over at Esotouric, who organize historic tours of Los Angeles, fear that whomever buys the Tamale won't restore it to its masa-colored glory and would likely tear it down:

... Unfortunately there is no structure in place for protecting or preserving the Tamale. Located in unincorporated Los Angeles County, it is not subject to the city's historic preservation guidelines. State and National monument status is dependent on the whim of the property owner. And so she sits, caked in plaster, under the blazing east side sun, waiting for something to happen.

Yesterday, something happened: the lot on which the Tamale sits, comprised of this small storefront and a tiny two-bedroom, one-bath house behind, was placed on the market with an asking price of $459,000. The rental income is $2,060 a month. And that's what you call a teardown, folks.

click to enlarge GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps

Today it appears to be a hair salon.

Buy it. Preserve it. Live in it. Stuff it with savory pork and glorious salsa.

[@dennisjromero / djromero@laweekly.com / @LAWeeklyNews]

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