HARVARD HEIGHTS, A MID-CITY DISTRICT BUILT ON THE hills just southwest of downtown Los Angeles, is a preservationist's dream. Thanks to a land covenant put in place by developers around the turn of the 20th century that required all houses built on the tract to cost upwards of $2,500, the neighborhood boasts a wealth of large and lovely Victorian and Craftsman-style homes. The first residents hired some of the best architects of the day and were rewarded with extraordinarily detailed exteriors as well as exquisitely carved woodwork, grand public rooms, and stained-glass windows. The 1929 stock market crash and subsequent migration to areas west of the city opened up the district to a progression of new U.S. citizens. Through the 1940s, the community was predominantly Greek. Now, a majority of the population is Hispanic. To commemorate the heritage of the area's latter-day stewards, the city recently proclaimed Harvard Heights the “Byzantine-Latino Quarter.”
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