View Park, the Neighborhood Nicknamed ‘the Black Beverly Hills,’ Now on the National Register of Historic Places

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Located in the hills west of Crenshaw Boulevard, the unincorporated community of View Park was developed between the 1920s and the 1950s. The neighborhood’s palm tree-lined streets contain approximately 1,750 homes in a range of architectural styles, including Spanish Colonial, Mediterranean Revival, French Normandy Revival, Streamline Moderne, and Mid-Century Modern.

As so many Los Angeles housing developments were at that time, View Park was kept off-limits to non-whites by vigorous enforcement of deed restrictions, redlining, and other practices.

Display Ad, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 1925.
Display Ad, Los Angeles Times, October 25, 1925.
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation

But after the landmark 1948 Supreme Court ruling that declared racial covenants unconstitutional, white residents began moving out of the neighborhood and upwardly mobile African Americans, including celebrities such as Ray Charles and Ike and Tina Turner, began moving in, earning View Park its nickname of “the black Beverly Hills.” By the 1980s, black residents outnumbered whites by about nine to one.

In 2015, a group of View Park homeowners nominated the neighborhood for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and as of this month, their wish was granted. However, as a Los Angeles Timesfeature from last July makes clear, a number of residents won’t be cheering this news, fearing the historic designation will serve as a, “marketing tool to attract a new—and largely white—crop of buyers to View Park’s historic homes,” that will push longtime black residents out.

Angeles Vista Boulevard, streetscape, facing southwestAngeles Vista Boulevard, streetscape, facing southwest
Angeles Vista Boulevard, streetscape, facing southwest
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation
Mullen Avenue, view from Monteith Park, facing west Mullen Avenue, view from Monteith Park, facing west
Mullen Avenue, view from Monteith Park, facing west
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation
Storybook home in Mount Vernon DriveStorybook home in Mount Vernon Drive
Storybook home in Mount Vernon Drive
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation
Storybook home in Mount Vernon DriveStorybook home in Mount Vernon Drive
Storybook home on Mount Vernon Drive
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation
 Spanish Colonial Revival on Homeaway Drive Spanish Colonial Revival on Homeaway Drive
Spanish Colonial Revival on Homeaway Drive
courtesy of the California Office of Historic Preservation

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