“I have always been fascinated by the way generations before my own have interacted with the physical spaces they occupied.”

Erik Van Breene is a third-generation Angeleno with a strong passion for history and the built environment.

When I got my driver’s license at the age of 16, I immediately began driving across Los Angeles, to the neighborhoods and places mentioned in family stories. As time went on and my interest in architecture grew, I started driving across California and eventually the country to visit historically significant sites.


In 2012, I received a bachelor’s degree in history with an emphasis on the United States, Modern Europe and the Middle East from California State University Long Beach. In 2014, after being hired as a project manager for a real estate developer in Northeast Los Angeles, I moved to Highland Park where I currently live.


As someone who wants to work in Los Angeles, USC provides a unique opportunity to learn and understand the complex issues within the city while interacting with preservationists in both the public and private sectors.