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A New Project Aims To Identify Landmarks Connected To Black LA History. What Would You Like To See Included?

A picture of St. Elmo Village.
A picture of St. Elmo Village.
Elizabeth Daniels/J. Paul Getty Trust

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Last week, Getty and the city of Los Angeles announced the African American Historic Places Project, a new program aimed at identifying and preserving historic Black landmarks in the city.

The three-year initiative aims to rectify a glaring disparity in LA landmark designations— only 3% of current landmarks are connected to Black heritage and history. “There’s much work to be done to rectify that disparity and ensure that the heritage of African Americans in Los Angeles is fully woven into our historic designation, and recognition of historic places in Los Angeles,” said Ken Bernstein, principal city planner and manager of the Office of Historic Resources. The Getty and the city are actively searching for a project leader with the help of an advisory group, and will work with local communities and cultural institutions to identify landmarks. The initiative also aims to reconsider what a “landmark” might be; while landmark designation is often granted to buildings, leaders are interested in expanding the boundaries of this classification to include more intangible spaces that honor African-American heritage in the city.

Today on AirTalk, we want to hear from you. What histories, destinations or cultural landmarks connected to Black Angeleno heritage would you like to see designated as landmarks? Give us a call at 866-893-5722 or comment below.


Sara Lardinois, project manager of the Los Angeles African American Historic Places Project at the Getty Conservation Institute; she tweets @LardinoisSara

Susan D. Anderson, history curator and project manager at the California African American Museum who sits on the advisory panel for the project; she tweets @SusanDAnderson_