A Long Tradition

About Lafayette Square

LaFayette Square, an affluent community in the central region of Los Angeles, was founded in 1913 by developer George LaFayette Crenshaw. It is named after the French Marquis who fought alongside colonists in the American Revolution. It sits just off of Crenshaw Boulevard in the Mid-City area. It was designated by the city as a Los Angeles Historic Preservation Overlay Zone in 2000 for its significant residential architecture and history. LaFayette Square is regarded as one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in the Central LA region, along with Hancock Park and Windsor Square. In addition to its significant architecture and large homes, the neighborhood is also notable for its central location to the entire city – an important incentive for many residents.


According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, “LaFayette Square was the last and greatest of banker George L. Crenshaw’s ten residential developments in the City of Los Angeles.” Around the turn of the twentieth century, there was a large oil boom in southern California: Between the extraordinary climate that California had to offer and the rich resources that provided jobs to the oil and agricultural industries, the state experienced great population booms. In Los Angeles, Crenshaw invested in and oversaw the development of ten residential real estate ventures to help satiate the population growth.


LaFayette Square is situated about 7 miles (11 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles, 2 miles (3 km) east ofBeverly Hills, and 4 miles (6 km) south of Hollywood. The nearest beach is Santa Monica Beach which is about 9 miles away. It consists of eight blocks, centered on St. Charles Place, and situated between Venice Boulevard on the north, Washington Boulevard on the south, Crenshaw Boulevard on the east and West Blvd on the west.There are 236 homes in the neighborhood.[4] It is immediately south of Victoria Park, southeast of West Los Angeles (Crestview and Picfair Village) and immediately north of Wellington Square.


The central region of Los Angeles experiences warm and dry summers, with average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, this area has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated “Csb” on climate maps.


Lafayette Square has shifted between white-only homeownership during the 1920s through the 1940s to nearly all African American homeownership in the 1950s, after restrictive deed covenants preventing people of color from buying homes there, as well as in other well-to-do Los Angeles neighborhoods, were lifted in the 1940s. The community is more racially mixed now as more white families began moving into the neighborhood over a decade ago.


Most of the families in the neighborhood do not send their children to public school. And those that do use public schools tend to use Magnet and Charter schools outside of the district.


Some nearby private schools commonly used by families in the neighborhood are:

  • Marlborough School, private high for young women, 250 South Rossmore Avenue
  • Loyola High School (Los Angeles), Jesuit preparatory school for young men


The neighborhood is zoned to schools in the Los Angeles Unified School District.

The neighborhood is zoned to the following schools:

  • Alta Loma Elementary School
  • Johnnie L. Cochran Jr. Middle School (formerly Mount Vernon Middle School)
  • Los Angeles High School


Crenshaw wanted this development to have a European flair so it was designed as an elegant residential park centered on St. Charles Place — a broad palm tree-lined avenue with a landscaped median. The houses in Lafayette Square reflect residential styles popular during the 1910s and 1920s such as Tudor Revival architecture, Italianate, Mediterranean Revival, Neo-Federalist, American Craftsman, Spanish Colonial Revival, and American Colonial Revival. Several houses, such as architect Paul Williams’ own home, were designed in the Modern style, exemplifying an important trend in Los Angeles’ architectural development.


The neighborhood was designed for wealthy families and now-historic houses regularly have 5,000 to 6,000 square feet (600 m2) floor plans, although the average home size is 3,600 square feet (330 m2). According to a Los Angeles Times real-estate section article on the district, “Most of the properties have period details: Juliet balconies, mahogany staircases and libraries, sitting rooms, stained glass windows, triple crown molding, soaring ceilings — even four-car garages.”

Notable Residents

  • George Pepperdine (founder of Pepperdine University)
  • Paul R. Williams, famous architect (who designed his own home in the neighborhood)
  • W.C. Fields
  • Fatty Arbuckle
  • Little Richard
  • Norton Simon, industrialist and art collector
  • Joe Louis, American professional boxer and former heavyweight champion
  • Princess Conchita Sepulveda Chapman Pignatelli
  • Alexander Pantages

Our Directors

Irving Meyer

Irving Meyer

As President of the LSA for the past two years, I have strived to get as many of our dear residents to help in our Association efforts to keep the Square as beautiful, secure, and responsive to our needs as I can.

Cassandra Malry

Moving to the square as a young family in 1985 was a return home for me. My husband, Ray Washington, and I have happily raised each of our three daughters in the Square.

Jean Cade

Lafayette Square has experienced many changes over the years. As a longtime resident I am committed to maintaining its historical character through my community involvement.

Patricia Baum

As Treasurer for the LFS Association, I am dedicated to the tradition of caring for our community, while focusing on safety, beautification and friendship, in alignment with our President’s stated mission.

Donna Robertson

I’m a native of Los Angeles. My family moved into Lafayette Square in 1999. My basic philosophy is that I’m here to serve in whatever capacity I can. I also serve as Membership Chair.

Lore Hilburg

George Smith

I have lived here for the 20+ years. My duties include distributing information to the Board of Directors and general membership using various forms of electronic media.

Michael Dan

Michael Dan

As a lawyer I have devoted my career to plaintiff personal injury including aviation, mass disaster and pharmaceutical malpractice. My work has resulted in widespread safety changes.

Elizabeth Lewis

It is a privilege to serve on the board as the historian. Over the years I have held many positions with our association. My husband and I have lived in the Square for over 45 years.

Debbi Beavers-Watford

Ellen Farwell

Sharon Harris