Kenilworth Avenue

Kenilworth is a village and (ruined) castle in Warwickshire, England, but most places that share its name were inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s 1821 novel Kenilworth, set in 1575 during Queen Elizabeth’s visit to the castle. Here in Los Angeles, the Kenilworth tract was an 1887 subdivision of Griffith J. Griffith’s vast property, as was Ivanhoe (also from Scott) that same year. The tract was located near Griffith’s ostrich farm, run by English naturalist Dr. Charles Sketchley; indeed, they called it the Kenilworth Ostrich Farm. Although short-lived as a tourist attraction (1885-1889), the ostrich farm led to the development of this part of town: That canyon-like stretch of Sunset Boulevard through Silver Lake and Echo Park was dug out for the train that hauled downtowners out to see the big birds, and neighborhoods popped up along the tracks. (The farm was located where Griffith Park’s Crystal Springs Picnic Area sits today.) Anyway, Kenilworth Avenue was named in 1910, half a mile south of the original Kenilworth tract.