Historic West Adams

Historic West Adams is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Los Angles with most of its structures built between 1880 and 1925. The neighborhood was named after Adams Boulevard and sits with mid-city to the north, Jefferson Park to the east, Baldwin Hills/Crenshaw to the south, and Palms to the west. Historic West Adams was developed by Henry E. Huntington and Hulett Merritt and was once the wealthiest district in Los Angeles and is home to one of the largest collections of historic homes west of the Mississippi River. Diverse architectural styles that can be found in West Adams neighborhoods include: Spanish Colonial Revival, Mission Revival, Egyptian Revival, Gothic Revival, Transitional Arts and Crafts, American Craftsman/Ultimate Bungalow, Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Shingle, Beau Arts, and Neoclassical Style. Several areas of West Adams such as West Adams Terrace, Pico Union, Lafayette Square, and Harvard Heights were all designated as Historic-Preservation-Overlay Zones for recognition of their unique architectural heritage.

During the early 1910’s the upper-class white population moved out of West Adams with the development of Beverly Hills, The Westside, and Hollywood. Upper-class blacks begin to move in around this time and West Adams became the center for black wealth. In recent years the districts Latino population has been growing as well as the upper-middle-class white population because of the neighborhoods architecture and proximity to USC. Many African-American gays have moved into the neighborhood and Historic West Adams has now become the center for Black Gay Life in Los Angeles even nicknaming the neighborhood The Black West Hollywood or The Black Silver Lake.  The area continues to develop with the opening of the Metro Expo Line which includes three stops in West Adams along with schools, parks, libraries, and fire service. When thinking of South Los Angeles most individuals would not imagine that it contains such a marvelous historic gem making the area very unique and special to the city.

 

Bibliography:

“West Adams, Los Angeles.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 30 Nov. 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.

Teicher, Jordan G. “Uncovering Los Angeles’ Forgotten Neighborhood.” Uncovering Los Angeles’ Forgotten Neighborhood. The Slate Group, 2014. Web. 20 May 2015.

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