It is said the only constant is change. That especially rings true of Los Angeles’ suburban landscape, where remodels, teardowns and rebuilds appear to be the norm. But situated just north of Interstate 10 in the city’s West Adams district is a small residential pocket stretching across three blocks between Arlington Ave. and W. Manhattan Pl. where time stands still. Known as Western Heights, the community bustles with more than 120 historic homes of varying architectural styles, each seemingly untouched since the day it was built.
As such, the area has naturally become a popular spot for filming – so much so that the Google Street View cameras even caught a production crew there on their last sweep of the neighborhood in February 2020! Tour the scant enclave and you’ll come across a saturation of famous properties. The Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority house from the 2008 comedy “House Bunny” stands at 2151 W. 20th St. Lucy Hale and her friends lived around the corner at 2233 W. 21st St. in the 2018 horror flick “Truth or Dare.” And in 2014’s “Neighbors,” Seth Rogen and Zac Efron called 2179 W. 20th and 2203 W. 20th home, respectively.
And smack dab in the middle of the neighborhood at 2299 W. 20th St. sits the large Craftsman where Dee Snider and his fellow Twisted Sister bandmates shot the music video for that most anthem-y of ‘80s anthems “We’re Not Gonna Take It.” A friend who shares my proclivity for filming locations only recently identified the place after embarking upon an extensive hunt to track it down.
Constructed from 1908 to 1909, the property is known as the Marston Residence, named in honor of its original owners, Dr. Luther M. Marston and his wife, Anna. The couple purchased the four-bedroom, three-bath dwelling upon its completion from builder J.H. Hillock for $9,000 and not only made their home there, but Luther, a teacher and healer, also partially ran his School of Metaphysics out of the residence. According to the West Adams Heritage Association’s September 2006 newsletter, Luther and Anna were an “unusually devoted” couple and friends took to calling their home “The Love Nest.” Their devotion to the pad was not nearly as impressive, though. They sold the place in late 1911, a little over two years after moving in.