Carthay, Los Angeles
Carthay is a residential district in the Westside of the city of Los Angeles, California within the Pico-Robertson neighborhood with in the West Los Angeles subregion and in the Mid-City West subregion of the city of Los Angeles, California.
Geography and transportation
Carthay is bordered by the Miracle Mile District on the north, Picfair Village and Faircrest Heights on the south, Beverly Hills on the northwest, and the Fairfax District on the northeast. The district is roughly bounded by Wilshire Boulevard on the north, La Cienega Boulevard on the west, Faircrest Heights border/Pico Boulevard on the south, and Fairfax Avenue on the east. Principal thoroughfares of the district include San Vicente, Olympic, and Crescent Heights Boulevards and is served by aip codes, 90019, 90035, 90036 and 90048.
Carthay comprises three neighborhoods: Carthay Circle, which lies to the north of Olympic Boulevard within the Mid-City West subregion; South Carthay, south of Olympic and west of Crescent Heights Boulevard in the Westside within the Pico-Robertson neighborhood within the West Los Angeles subregion and is part of the P.I.C.O. Neighborhood Council; and Carthay Square, south of Olympic and east of Crescent Heights in the Westside within the Pico-Robertson neighborhood within the West Los Angeles subregion and is part of the P.I.C.O Neighborhood Council.
In 1922, J. Harvey McCarthy developed the area as an upscale residential district along the San Vicente Boulevard line of the Pacific Electric Railway, bounded by Wilshire Blvd. on the north, Fairfax Avenue on the east, Olympic Blvd. on the south and Schumacher Drive on the west. McCarthy originally named the district Carthay Center (Carthay being a derivative of the developer's last name). The areas to the south of Olympic Boulevard remained undeveloped until 1933, when developer Spyros George Ponty built several hundred homes in two districts later named "South Carthay" and "Carthay Square."
The Carthay Center development included the single-screen movie house known as the Carthay Circle Theatre at Carrillo Drive and Commodore Sloat Drive, just south of San Vicente Blvd. This renowned theater's name resulted in confusion that led to the area today being known as Carthay Circle. Although Carthay Center in no way ever resembled a circle, the Carthay Circle Theatre did. The more famous theater's name (similar sounding to Columbus Circle, an actual circle in New York City) evolved over time to become the name of the lesser-known Carthay Center.
Initially limited by restrictive covenants to whites, Carthay has since become fairly diverse, with many middle-class black, Latino, and Asian families living within the district. As with most of Mid-Wilshire, much of its non-Latino white population is Jewish. Cathay also has a significant number of immigrants of Ethiopian ancestry, accounting for many of the owners, employees and customers of the shops in Little Ethiopia.
One of Carthay Circle's most interesting features is its network of pedestrian pathways, which are marked and maintained as regular city streets by the city of Los Angeles. A very pedestrian-friendly area, Carthay is one of the safest neighborhoods in Los Angeles, despite its occasional crimes.
Single-family houses are most prevalent in Carthay Circle and South Carthay, while two- and three-family houses prevail in Carthay Square. Mid-sized apartment buildings, mostly built in the 1930s, line the arterial peripheries of all three neighborhoods. Most of the houses, duplexes, and triplexes are built in the Spanish Colonial Revival style popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Strict enforcement of restrictive covenants by the area's homeowners associations meant that most of these remained standing into the 1980s, when South Carthay was designated for preservation in Los Angeles' Historic Preservation Overlay Zone program; Carthay Circle followed in the 1990s.
United States Census tracts 2163 and 2168 are exactly contiguous with the borders of Carthay. As of the 2000 census, the district had a population of 8229. Racial representation was 64.3% white, 15.1% black or African-American, 0.3% Native American, 10.5% Asian or Pacific Islander, 5.2% some other race, and 4.5% two or more races; 13.1% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Per capita income was $34,265; 5.0% of individuals were under the federal poverty line.
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Los Angeles Unified School District operates public schools. Carthay Center School is in the neighborhood.
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