Los Angeles Department of City Planning

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Carthay Circle

J. Harvey McCarthy developed Carthay Circle, originally called Carthay Center, between 1922 and 1944. He envisioned the neighborhood, named after a variation of his surname, as a complete community with a church, elementary school, hotel, theater, commercial center and a variety of housing opportunities. Captivated by California history, McCarthy named the streets in honor of prominent figures of the California Gold Rush. Carthay Circle was the first subdivision in Los Angeles to be planned with underground utilities, maintaining the streetscape free of the clutter of telephone poles and electric wires. The architecture of this primarily residential HPOZ is dominated by the Spanish Colonial Revival style, in keeping with its founder’s fascination with California history, although examples of the Tudor, French, and American Colonial Revival styles can also be found. Once home to the famed Carthay Circle Theater, site of such film premieres as Snow White and Gone with the Wind, the multicolor tiled circular dome atop the theater tower and the circular auditorium inspired the community to change the name from “Carthay Center” to “Carthay Circle.”  The Carthay Circle HPOZ was adopted by City Council in 1998.

Projects in Carthay Circle that require board review are reviewed by the Carthay HPOZ Board, which reviewes cases for the Carthay Circle, South Carthay, and Carthay Square HPOZs.  The CarthayHPOZ Board, comprised of local stakeholders with expertise in building, architecture, preservation and real estate, meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, though meetings are canceled if there are no business items to discuss. Meetings take place at the Temple Beth Am, Kopelove Hall, at 1039 South La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Agendas for HPOZ meetings can be found here.

For any questions or to schedule a review of a proposed project within this HPOZ, please contact Jonathan Kaplan of the Department of City Planning's Office of Historic Resources, at (213) 847-3668, or jonathan.kaplan@lacity.org, and fill out the HPOZ Initial Screening Checklist.