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The South Carthay Neighborhood Association was founded in 1980.  Meeting in George Parks’ backyard were residents of the neighborhood who were interested in trying to cut down on the crime in the area.  House burglaries, car theft, and muggings were becoming a common occurrence.  To try to alleviate the problem, the community reached out to our political leaders for help.  Present at that first meeting were Zev Yaraslovsky, who was our city councilman at the time as well as Herschel Rosenthal who represented us in the state legislature.  Shortly after that first informal meeting the Association was created.  The Association was open to all residents of the neighborhood, not just homeowners in hopes that the many renters in the area would feel free to join in.  By 1982 our third president, Fred Naiditch, was in office.
 
 Fred was born in Chicago in 1930 and came to Los Angeles in 1951 and stayed here after he got out of the Navy. “The second day I was in Los Angeles I was on Olympic Place, and I said one of these days I’m going to live on this street. My friend Danny, who I had come out here with before we went to San Diego to serve in the Navy, had an aunt who lived in the apartment building on the northwest corner of La Jolla and Olympic Blvd.  When we went to visit her we checked out the neighborhood.”

 He moved to his home on La Jolla in October of 1978 after living first in Westwood and then Beverly Hills.  “Well, when Sandi and I started looking we couldn’t find a house on Olympic Place, but we did get the one at the end of Olympic Place. I was a vocational counselor and a Financial Aids director until 1982 when I retired and went into business for myself as a printer.”

 Fred remembered that he was president of the association when the first discussions about the area becoming an HPOZ were started.  “A guy by the name of Bill Hoffman called me one day.  He had been traveling around the neighborhood.  He was writing a Master’s thesis at UCLA, and his advisor suggested that Bill look around the city for an area that would look good to become an HPOZ.  At that time, there was only one, Angelino Heights (Carroll Avenue).  I brought up the idea at an association meeting and everyone seemed to like it.”  A committee was formed to look into the possibility.  The committee consisted of Dorothy and Stanley Greenburg, Dorothy’s sister Bess Levin, Walter Nukes, Fred, and his wife Sandi.  Their job was to put together ballots or voting sheets.  They went around to every single resident in the entire neighborhood to collect signatures for and against.  “We had to have 70% in favor of doing this; we got 92% of residents to agree.  In order to get the area designated, a survey had to be completed.  “We got Prof. Robert Winter, an architectural historian to do the survey.  He went around and took photographs of all the residences, and went over all the information down at the Hall of Records.”  The Association appealed to the City Council to fund the cost of the survey, which would cost close to $20,000.  Zev went before the Council and got approval.  We became only the second Historical Preservation Overlay Zone in the city in 1984.


The two main builders that were in this neighborhood were Spiros Ponti, a Greek immigrant who was once in the movie business but turned to home building during the Depression, and Steinkamp who left his distinctive mark on the chimneys of the homes that he built.  Both builders were incredibly detail-oriented - hardwood floors with intricate borders, windows with stained glass insets, skylights of stained glass, extraordinary tile, and beautiful moldings. In deciding to preserve the character of South Carthay, the City praised the neighborhood for the "best concentration of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture in Los Angeles," and cited the quality construction, skilled craftsmanship, and individuality in each of the houses. It also praised South Carthay's harmonious mixture of houses, small duplexes and apartment buildings in other architectural styles. Fred was selected as the first HPOZ Chair.  “We only met when we had a project.  We didn’t meet every month the way they do now.” 

Fred served for many years as the HPOZ Chair and SCNA President.  He continued to stay active in the community until his health began to fail.  Thanks to his dedication to the HPOZ and the Association, South Carthay has, and will remain, if not precisely Shangri-La, a neighborhood unaltered by time.

 
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