Carrol Avenue's Victorian homes are within LA's Angelino Heights Historic District and part of the
National Register of Historic Places. The street has the highest concentration of 19th century Victorians
in the City.
The Historic Ordinance requires that the neighborhood buildings be at least 50 years old and reflective of a characteristic architectural style, famous person or event. Since Los Angeles had a tremendous building boom in the first decades of the 20th century, there remain many beautiful examples of this period revival styles including Spanish Colonial, Tudor, Dutch, French Second Empire, Prarie, Colonial, Italianate, Beaux Art, Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and many more.
HANCOCK PARK - You will love this gorgeous period revival district with its palatial, two-story homes on 50 foot setbacks. In fact, if you like historic architecture, there is no more beautiful and impressive neighborhood than this. Built on land purchased in 1863 from Rancho La Brea (yes, the Tar Pits, baby!) and developed by Major Henry Hancock's son, G. Allan, we will see Tudor Revival, French, Spanish Colonial, American Colonial, Monterey and Georgian styles. This was a neighborhood of homes built by prominent architects for prominent people, including movie stars.
|English Gothic home with bay windows.|
|American Colonial home with Palladian window and Greek Revival touches|
|Tudor Revival was very popular with affluent and not-so-affluent home owners.|
WINDSOR SQUARE - Adjacent to Hancock Park, this historic district has even larger homes. Developed to be the most elegant neighborhood in Los Angeles with minimum lot frontages of 100 feet and lot width of 300 feet, Windsor Square represents a broader time period of architecture with early Craftsman and Beaux Art/Classical Revival styles complemented with later period revival and even California Ranch styles.
|Americal Colonial home with fanlight over|
SOUTH CARTHAY HISTORIC DISTRICT (1985) - Our last stop on the tour is closest to my heart because this is the neighborhood that I nominated in 1984 after receiving a grant from the School of Urban Planning at UCLA. This wonderful neighborhood - bordered by Pico and Olympic, La Cienega and Crescent Heights Boulevards - features a wide variety of styles but not the palatial elegance of Hancock Park or Windsor Square. In fact, most of these homes weren't designed by architects at all, but rather built by Greek American developer Spyros George Ponty. Most of the homes are single-story Spanish Colonial with impressive craftsmanship. They feature low pitched tile roofs, arched windows and doors, stain-glass windows, and decorative tile in the bathrooms, kitchens and on the driveway arches. Indeed, no two of the homes are alike.
Spanish Colonial Revival is the most common period revival style in Los Angeles. This single-story homes
were built in the South Carthay neighborhood by contractor Ponty in the 1930s.
Other parts of South Carthay provide great examples of 1930s period architecture. On the northern border along Olympic Boulevard are excellent stretches of Chateauesque apartments. The style's steeply-pitched roofs, corner turrets, dormer windows and decorative plaster work can be found throughout West Los Angeles, but seldom in such concentrations. On the eastern border of the district are beautiful two-story Spanish colonial apartments in contrast to the single-family homes inside the district. In the south are some examples of Tudor and American Colonial Revival with several Streamline Moderne apartments found as well. During the research for historic designation, I was sad but not surprised to learn that in the 1930s and early 40s, restrictive covenants prevented African Americans, Hispanics and Jews from living in the neighborhood. In 1949, the Supreme Court declared racial covenants unconstitutional.
Many of LA's HPOZs (historic districts) contain period revival styles from the 1920s and 30s. Pictured here is a beautiful block of Chateauesque apartments in the South Carthay HPOZ neighborhood.
I hope you will join me on the Historic Districts of Los Angeles Tour. We will see over 15 architectural styles and also study how the ordinance affects new development. Can architectures build new homes in these historic districts that are respectful of the context but not mere copies? Also, we will investigate the effect of historic district designation on property values. Certainly, the Historic Preservation Overlay Zone program has been a huge success since its inception in the early 1980s. There is much to explore, and it's nice that Angelinos are preserving parts of their built history.