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“Judy Greer's Favorite Street”
BY ERIN GULDEN
Read the article in Delta Sky Magazine

Larchmont Village is a quaint and friendly shopping district in the center of a bustling city. It is located in one of the oldest and most historically significant neighborhoods in Los Angeles and is bordered by some of the most well preserved older homes in the city, ranging from 1920's California bungalows to grand old estates. Larchmont Village serves as a Main Street retail district to Hancock Park, Windsor Square and nearby Paramount Studios. Larchmont maintains a small town feel and serves as a lovely community gathering place. Enjoy the charm of a day spent on Larchmont experiencing a variety of wonderful ethnic restaurants, sidewalk cafes and upscale boutiques.

NEIGHBORHOOD HISTORY

Windsor Square

Sometime between 1900 and 1910 a gentleman named George A.G. Howard envisioned a beautiful tranquil park as a setting for family homes such as one sees in the English countryside. He pushed the early city fathers to make his vision come true, and in 1911, Mr. Robert A. Rowan initiated a unique residential development and called it Windsor Square.

The original "Square" ran from Wilshire Blvd. to Third Street, and from Plymouth Blvd. to Irving Blvd. The English flavor was enhanced by street names: Irving, Windsor and Plymouth. Lorraine Boulevard took its name from the developer's daughter Lorraine Rowan. Nurseryman Paul J. Howard designed and planted most of the magnificent gardens of Windsor Square and supervised tree planting.

Windsor Square was later expanded to the north, east, and west. Today, Windsor Square runs from Wilshire to Beverly Boulevards, and from Arden Boulevard to Van Ness Avenue. This is inclusive of the one-block strip of Larchmont Village, between First Street and Beverly Boulevard. Windsor Square is often mistakenly called "Hancock Park," even by long-time residents. But in fact, Hancock Park is the neighborhood immediately to the west.

Windsor Square consists of approximately 1,100 homes, and it is one of the oldest - most well preserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles. With its broad lawns, mature trees and central location five miles west of downtown, Windsor Square is a garden oasis in the heart of a world-class city, with Larchmont Village as its community gathering place.


Hancock Park

Hancock Park, directly to the west of Windsor Square, owes its name to developer-philanthropist G. Allan Hancock, who subdivided the property in the 1920s. Hancock, born and raised in a home at the La Brea tar pits, inherited 440 acres, which his father, Major Henry Hancock had acquired from the Rancho La Brea property owned by the family of Jose Jorge Rocha.

Some 71 oil wells were operating at capacity on the land from 1905 to 1910. Nine years later Hancock subdivided the property into residential lots. He leased 105 acres to the Wilshire Country Club with an option to buy. The Hancock Park development was started on Rossmore Avenue and moved west to Highland Avenue in 1921.

Architects such as Paul Williams, A. C. Chisholm and John Austin were hired to design homes for many of the city's pioneer families. The list of families who moved into Hancock Park's first homes reads like a "Who's Who" of California-Doheny, Chandler, Huntington, Van Nuys, Crocker, Banning, Newmark, Van de Kamp and Duque, were some of the early residents.

Hancock Park is approximately 2.2 square miles and consists of about 1,200 homes. Its boundaries are Rossmore to Highland Avenues, and Melrose Avenue to Wilshire Boulevard.



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