Marcasel Avenue

“Marcasel” is believed to be a semi-anagram of “Casa del Mar” – a sanitarium once located on Venice Boulevard, across the street from where Marcasel Ave. terminates. Casa del Mar opened in 1922, initially as a hospital specializing in maternity cases, but it soon became a rest home for the mentally and/or physically incapacitated. (Even alcoholics were patients there, including actor John Barrymore in 1936.) At that time, Marcasel Avenue was still called West Boulevard. (Its mirror twin East Boulevard still exists by that name.) It took on its current moniker in 1946 after property owners complained that their street kept getting confused with Mid-City’s own West Boulevard. The closest Pacific Electric streetcar stop on Venice was already known as “Marcasel” – perhaps some streetcar conductor coined the name in order to downplay the sanitarium connection? – so the street simply copied it. Casa del Mar closed in 1972 and was soon torn down.