Lafayette Square is a small, semi-gated neighborhood in Los Angeles, California named after General Lafayette. 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 consists of eight blocks, centered around St. Charles Place, and situated between Venice Boulevard and Washington Boulevard. There are 236 homes in the neighborhood. It is immediately south of Victoria Park and immediately north of Wellington Square.
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." The neighborhood was founded in 1913; the gates surrounding the district are a relatively recent addition, coming only in 1989.
The neighborhood was always meant to be for higher-income 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). Architectural styles include Neo-Federalist, Craftsman, Italianate and Spanish Revival, as well as several notable examples of early Modern. 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."
Famous residents of Lafayette Square have included George Pepperdine (founder of Pepperdine University), actors W.C. Fields and Fatty Arbuckle, industrialist and art collector Norton Simon, boxer Joe Louis, architect Paul R. Williams (who designed his own home in the neighborhood), and members of the Crenshaw family.