One of L.A.’s hottest spots for historic homes is Carroll Avenue, where the Victorian architectural style is on full display. Carroll Avenue is in Angelino Heights, which is one of Los Angeles’ oldest neighborhoods. The dozen or so towering Victorians that line Carroll Avenue collectively form one of the most picturesque spots in the city. The wooden turrets and shaded portraits feel frozen in time, calling back to a post-Spanish, pre-Hollywood way of life that feels like a secret part of LA history.
In 1866, William W. Stilson and Everett E. Hall filed for ownership of a tract of land called “Angelino Heights”—the hill’s elevation was attractive to home builders who desired both a pleasant view and the peace and quiet of suburban living.
Construction began in 1887 and that same year saw the arrival of many splendid Victorian styled homes on the hilly streets, most of which were owned by prosperous business men who had come out West as part of the real estate boom of the late 19th century and the massive westward migration.
Angelino Heights is primarily renowned for its many examples of Victorian architecture, as evidenced in the high concentration of homes designed and erected at the height of the movement here in the 1880s. Some of the homes were built on lots elsewhere, and have subsequently been moved into the neighborhood, which can account for those that pre-date the 1886 subdivision of the area.
Between approximately 1900 and 1915, a sort of second phase of development took place in Angelino Heights, but this time the aesthetic was distinctly more subdued, and was in the vein of the then-popular Craftsman style. Concurrently, Los Angeles was now home to the burgeoning moving picture industry, and nearby studios made full use of the Heights’ sloping streets, like Kensington Road, in their silent productions. Look closely at some of the chase scenes in the Keystone Cops series of films and you might recognize Angelino Heights. In fact, many of that era’s stars chose to call Angelino Heights home, such as Mary Pickford and Gloria Swanson. Filming in the area has remained extremely popular; many individual homes may spark recognition from having been featured in various films, videos, commercials, and television shows. In fact, much of Angelino Heights has the feel of a set. Stepping onto the historic sidewalks of Carroll Avenue is like stepping into a motion picture.
Only $500 for a lot in 1902!
Angelino Heights was the city’s first area to be designated as Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), which took place on Aug 10 1983. An HPOZ means that several buildings in one area are related in some manner and that, as a whole, the buildings in the area reflect an architectural integrity that calls for preservation and/or restoration.
Seen from another view the house is next to a Moreton Fig tree, which, like the homes it shares the street with, is also protected as a landmark and cannot be destroyed.
The present-day Angelino Heights continues to fight for its recognition and the restoration of its original architecture, while its residents work together to define what it means to be a neighborhood.
If you’re in the area be sure to stop and take a stroll down Carroll Avenue and enjoy these magnificent and rare gems.