Carroll Avenue – LA’s Preserved Snapshot of the Victorian Era
Every neighborhood in LA has a hidden gem that it’s known for: the canals of Venice, the Bronson Caves of Hollywood, the boardwalk at Santa Monica, hidden stairwells in Silverlake, etc. And while most of these landmarks have been dug into the LA landscape for quite some time and have endured years of change and transformation, there is Carroll Avenue, which remains largely unchanged, with the largest concentration of Victorian houses in Los Angeles.
Surrounded by the Downtown LA cityscape, Echo Park Lake, and Dodger Stadium, the finest collection of Victorian Era homes sits in the small neighborhood of Angelino Heights. Designed in the Eastlake and Queen Anne styles of the late 19th century, these homes are both an architectural treasure and a stark contrast to the more mdoern architecture of Los Angeles. Iced with lattice and spindles, turrets and towers, stained glass insets in window sashes, a gilded sunburst in a peaked gable, house after house, dazzles. Driving or walking by Carroll Avenue is like opening gift after gift.
While the rest of LA endures constant change, the homes on Carroll Avenue have watched the city transform, like a well-preserved capsule dug up from the ground, silently withstanding the dynamic growth of LA. There are nine homes that are monuments on the cultural heritage board, each differing in style. Some homes have an Edgar Allan Poe-like feel to it while others are reminiscent of the Painted Ladies in San Francisco.
The craftsmanship and detail on the homes are just as beautiful as the decorative hitching posts along the street.
Some of the homes have appeared on hit TV series, “Charmed” (1337 Carroll Avenue), and was also seen in Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video (1345 Carroll Avenue). There are at least 34 notable homes to see on and around Carroll Avenue. Click the “Getting there” link below to highlight the notable locations.
One of the best ways to explore this neighborhood is by taking the LA Conservancy’s Angelino Heights walking tour at 10 a.m. on the first Saturday of the month. It’s $10 for the general public and $5 for children under 12. Reservations are required, so plan ahead. Visiting Carroll Avenue is a pleasant surprise that reminds tourists and natives of where we’ve been, and how beautifully resilient we can be through the tests of time.
Getting there: Carroll Avenue between Edgeware Road
By Public Transportation: Take Bus #4 to Downtown LA towards Broadway – Venice and get off at Sunset & Douglas (about 28 stops).
By Car: Take the South 101 Freeway towards Downtown LA and exit Glendale Blvd. Turn right onto Bellevue Ave. and a left onto Edgeware Rd.
Parking: Street Parking