We were driving back from CA Boom on Crescent Heights and, co-editor Josh asked, “What neighborhood is this?” I said, “Get out of my car. Jerk,” and thus the idea for this week’s neighborhood was born: South Carthay.
[Image courtesy of binary Los Angeles]
The area known as Carthay is bounded by Fairfax, La Cienega, Pico, and Wilshire Boulevards. The neighborhood of South Carthay is the area south of Olympic and west of Crescent Heights.
Once vegetable fields for Ralph’s, the area of Carthay was developed in the 1920s as a tony residential area along the Pacific Electric Railway, which ran along San Vicente Blvd. J. Harvey McCarthy developed the area, and it is from his name (with the help of someone who could neither speak nor spell correctly) that Carthay was named.
South Carthay was developed a bit later, in the 1930s. Developer Spyro George Ponty constructed most of the homes, and nearly all of them were in the then-popular Spanish Colonial Revival style, which consisted of low-pitched tile roofs, arched doors and windows, and smooth stucco exterior finishes. Ponty was the tract home developer of his time, it seems. Except these houses are actually constructed well, and each one is slightly different. Single family homes generally line the feeder streets, and multi-family homes generally line the arterials. Restrictive covenants allowed most of the houses to survive a demolition in favor of a strip mall or mcmansion. There was that teensy problem of the covenants being racially restrictive too. But those were eliminated long ago, and the whole rainbow of diversity now calls South Carthay home. The South Carthay neighborhood received a HPOZ designation in the 1980s.