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Commission rules First Baptist Church of Venice will not become a monument

The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission rejected a proposal to name the First Baptist Church of Venice as a historic cultural monument.
The Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission rejected a proposal to name the First Baptist Church of Venice as a historic cultural monument.
Emily Elena Dugdale/KPCC

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The vote by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission to reject the monument was disappointing to the small group of supporters in the audience.

They say the now-closed First Baptist Church of Venice was the heart of the historically Black community in the Oakwood neighborhood. Redlining in the 1900s made this neighborhood one of the few places in the area Black people could live.

Now the area is gentrifying. Multi-millionaire Jay Penske bought the property in 2017 and plans to turn it into a mansion.