Carlin Street

Realtor Carlin Geer Smith (1884-1946) named Carlin Street and Geer Avenue for himself in 1912. (There was also a Smith Drive to round out the trio, but due to conflicts with another L.A. street by that name, it was renamed Smiley Drive in 1918.) Smith forged his career in his hometown of Oakland, then in Sacramento. The ambitious young developer, a tireless self-promoter, came to Los Angeles in 1911 and opened this tract within a year. He dubbed it Du Ray Place in honor of his father and/or his brother: both were named Du Ray Smith. (There’s also at least one nearby street named for a Smith employee: Blackwelder.) Smith unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Los Angeles in 1929. That same year, he donated the land for the Carlin G. Smith Playground (now “Recreation Center”) in Mount Washington. It was likely a campaign stunt; another involving a “baby’s milk fund” got Smith accused of running a phony charity for the sake of publicity. The stress of the campaign and the accusations must have affected his marriage to his wife Olivia, as they divorced soon after.