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The History of Los Feliz, California

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The History of Los Feliz, California - Carswell and Partners

Before Spanish settlers moved into what would later become the state of California, Native American tribes inhabited the region. When the Spanish came up on the Native American settlements, they called them rancherias. One of these native settlements eventually became the basis for Rancho Los Feliz.

Rancho Los Feliz was a land grant given in 1795 by Spanish Governor Pedro Fages to José Vicente Feliz, one of the first Spanish settlers in California. The grant’s boundaries were the Los Angeles River to the north and east, and the Santa Monica Mountains to the west. This put Feliz in control of the land that is now known as Griffith Park, East Hollywood, Silver Lake, and Los Feliz.

Today, Los Feliz is a desirable Los Angeles neighborhood surrounded by Griffith Park, Hollywood, and Silver Lake. The community is marked by many architecturally significant homes by a long list of preeminent architects.

The History of Los Feliz, California - Carswell and Partners


Craftsman style homes are prevalent in Southern California and especially in Los Feliz. Craftsman architects were rebelling against the cold modernity of the Industrial Revolution by creating homes which emphasized artisanship over mass-production. Therefore, Craftsman homes can be identified by several key features:

  • Hand-crafts stone or wood work
  • Built-in furniture and light fixtures.
  • Fireplaces and exterior chimneys
  • Large porches with thick columns
  • Low pitched roof lines
  • Single dormers
  • Exposed beams or rafters
  • Spacious, open floor plans
  • Four-over-one or six-over-one paned windows

What is noted as the largest Craftsman home in America is located in Los Feliz. The nearly 14,000 square foot home was commissioned by construction executive Frederick Engstrum in 1913. The gorgeous home was designed by architect Frank Brown of Commonwealth Home Builders. It is important to note that the interior includes elements of the Arts & Crafts style, an early 19th century architectural movement popularized in England.

The History of Los Feliz, California - Carswell and Partners

This spectacular home fell into disrepair over the years, until it was purchased and lovingly restored by owner Leonard Fenton. The award-winning restoration preserved the home’s historical integrity, while bringing it up to date with modern amenities.

If you are interested in knowing more about this one-of-a-kind Los Feliz residence, please contact us for more information.

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About The Author
Ernie Carswell

Ernie Carswell is one of the most accomplished and respected real estate agents in the industry today. With more than 25 years of experience in the business, Carswell’s extensive roster of satisfied clientele includes the likes of Fortune 500 CEOs, professional entertainers, top studio executives, leading attorneys, government officials, ambassadors, and foreign dignitaries. Carswell is one of the most admired names in luxury real estate and frequently receives accolades for his outstanding work in the press. He has been included in The Hollywood Reporter’s “Hollywood’s Top 25 Real Estate Agents” listing, in Variety’s feature on “Showbiz Real Estate Elite,” Billboard’s coverage of the “Top 15 Real Estate Agents Representing Musicians Today,” and was ranked in the top 100 Agents in the nation by the Wall Street Journal’s Real Trends. A native of South Carolina, Carswell’s real estate career began in the exclusive Highland Park neighborhood of Dallas, Texas. He relocated to New York as an agent, selling properties on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for 3 years. He planted his flag in Southern California in the early 90s, where he currently resides today.