It's clear that West Adams is more and more in the public view these days. I was pleased to receive the inquiry from Mr. Conan Nolan of NBC Los Angeles that he would like to feature West Adams for his annual piece for Black History Month. (Last year he focused on the Jazz history of Central Avenue.)
I suggested that the new Paul R. Williams Memorial Plaza at the corner of Adams and Western would be a great place to shoot, and that the Golden State Mutual Building's history, as well as the surrounding neighborhood would give him plenty of material for his report. One of the last copies of our "West Adams Landmarks of African American History" provided a myriad of images and background for this piece. (A 2nd Edition is in the works!)
Special thanks to Billie Green, Joe Williams, and Georgia Toliver for taking the time from their busy schedules to participate in the interviews.
The Rich History of West Adams, Once a Predominantly Black Suburb
by Conan Nolan
West Adams is a part of Los Angeles that is slowly being rediscovered, with streets that speak to an era of grace, charm and beauty.
Joe Williams is one of the many who knows the neighborhood that became known as "West Adams," and recalls the history of the suburb. "It went from an all white neighborhood to an all black neighborhood. Now you have a diversity that is really healthy," Williams said.
West Adams is Los Angeles' first suburb dating back to the 1880s, with craftsman and Victorian designed homes, and mansions. The informal borders of the neighborhood run just south of downtown Los Angeles, from Jefferson north toward Pico Boulevard, and Figueroa west toward Crenshaw Boulevard.
To read the entire article and view the NBC-Los Angeles report, click here.