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.


West Adams Named Los Angeles’ Best Neighborhood

Curbed LA, an on-line blog devoted to Los Angeles and its real estate, announced on January 4th that West Adams had been voted by its readers as the best neighborhood in Los Angeles for 2015.  This recognition came following a heated competition between the two finalists, West Adams and Pacoima, with the former ultimately receiving the most votes.

Soon afterward writer Bianca Barragan conducted an on-line interview with John Patterson, former WAHA president and current board member. 


Cemetery Walk: Angelus Rosedale's Local Tales
Learn about early Angelenos at one of our oldest graveyards.

Cemeteries will be more active in the weeks ahead, thanks to seasonal concerts and Dia de los Muertos gatherings and remembrances and a host of autumnal events.

But there's one happening upon hallowed ground that takes a different tack among the tombstones. Rather than plugging into the traditions of Halloween and the ghost sightings that are said to be common to graveyards, history-loving locals venture into Angelus Rosedale to learn about early Angelenos.

The West Adams Heritage Association organizes a story-filled stroll through the historic Angelus Rosedale Cemetery each year, not to summon the spirits but rather the spirited tales of yore, tales very much a part of the legacy of those whose names are on the headstones.


City Gems: Guided Tour
West Adams Heritage Association's 26th Annual Holiday Tour & Progressive Dinner

“The West Adams Heritage Association presents its annual Holiday Tour and Progressive Dinner. During this three-hour event, a guide takes diners from residence to residence, while each course — appetizers and champagne, soup, salad, waiter-served main course, and dessert — is consumed in a different West Adams home. This special opportunity to view beautiful historic homes while wining, dining, and celebrating the holiday season focuses this year on the vibrant neighborhood of Wellington Square. Most of the homes here were built during the 1920s in a variety of architectural styles and style hybrids, including Spanish, Norman, and Tudor. The homes on this year's tour include two 1920s Spanish Colonial Revivals, a Dutch Colonial Revival built in 1919, a 1922 Mediterranean Revival, and two Colonial Revival homes from 1922. One of these homes, which belonged to Dorothy Dandridge's mother, features exquisite hand-painted murals in three rooms and a charming clinker brick fireplace with a semi-precious stone inlaid mantel.”


Visit Wellington Square for the holidays December 1, 2

Grand homes built during the heyday of the Roaring 20s in Wellington Square will put out the welcome mat Sat., Dec. 1 and Sun., Dec. 2 for West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) Holiday Historic Homes Tour & Progressive Dinner.

The 26th annual event, "A Warm Welcome to Wellington Square—Holidays in the Heart of the City," includes tours of the homes decorated for the holiday season, each serving different food courses on site.

The area represents the rapid growth following "The Great War" with examples of Spanish, Tudor, Norman and other "Revival."

The West Adams District, with its new Wellington Square enclave, came into its own when the iconic Hollywoodland sign first graced the hillside to the north in 1923. New construction included the Biltmore Hotel (1923), the Central Library (1926), and the "skyscraping" City Hall (1927).


Strolling and Supping in West Adams
It's a traditional yuletide-nice weekend in one of SoCal's oldest areas.

There are neighborhoods around Southern California that feel quintessentially here -- we're looking at you, Venice Beach and Hollywood -- while other areas summon faraway places.

Those are the streets and boulevards we're apt to see on television and in the movies playing different locations, say along the East Coast or abroad. And leading the pack in Other-Place-ness, or at least tied with South Pasadena in that regard, is West Adams.

Historic houses built in the 20s lend the centrally located neighborhood its timelessness and stately air, but the community there is what gives West Adams its closeknit character.


1920s Holiday Home Tour & Progressive Dinner-West Adams

Here's your chance to channel your inner Gatsby!

Next weekend--December 1 and 2nd, is the 26th annual West Adams Holiday Home Tour and Progressive Dinner, in the Wellington Square area.

If you're not up to dinner, you can take a self-guided walking tour of these beautiful homes on Sunday, the 2nd.

The focus for this tour is the post-WWI era and the Roaring 20s.

But--I just checked the site and many of the Sunday tours (not all) are sold out. So better make your reservations.

Dress in costume if you're so inclined! Flapper dresses and tiaras welcome. Below right is the home where you'll have the main course--the Frederick and Mary Dee Residence, built in 1922.

You'll check in at one house, then go to different homes for the appetizer, soup, salad, dinner, and dessert courses.


A Warm Welcome To Wellington Square – Holidays In The Heart Of The City’s 26th Annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour & Progressive Dinner On December 1st And 2nd

Start your holiday season in style by visiting grand homes built during the heyday of the post-WWI, Roaring 20s and Art Deco eras, when the West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) presents its 26th annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour & Progressive Dinner, A Warm Welcome to Wellington Square — Holidays in the Heart of the City, on Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2. A self-guided walking-only tour (no dinner) is available Sunday afternoon.


A Warm Welcome to Wellington Square -- Holidays in the Heart of the City

West Adams Heritage Association’s 26th annual Holiday Historic Homes Tour & Progressive Dinner, Saturday, December 1, and Sunday, December 2, featuring post-WWI homes built during the Roaring 20s and Art Deco era.

Most of the homes gracing the broad streets of Wellington Square reflect the eclectic styles of a vibrant young city, with Spanish, Tudor, Norman, and other "Revival" styles throughout the neighborhood.  Visitors will not only tour the beautiful homes colorfully decorated for the holiday season, but will also enjoy a different food course in each house.

Time and prices:  Docent-led tours every forty-five minutes, 3-6:15 pm Saturday, and 3:30-6:45 pm Sunday. Prepaid reservations required for the progressive dinner tour.  $85 per person.  Sunday self-guided walking-only tour (no dinner) from 12 noon to 2 pm. $30.


Angelus Rosedale Cemetery Tour

Like cemetery tours?  C'mon, admit it!  We all like cemetery tours!

The West Adams Heritage Association presents "Entertaining Lives" on Saturday, September 29th, at the Angelus Rosedale Cemetery. The Living History Tours will begin every 25 minutes, between 9 am and noon.

For this popular event, advance reservations are REQUIRED. Call 323-732-4223, or send an email to

Living History Tours cost $25, if ordered by Sept. 24. If you wait till the 25th--if there's space, the tour will cost $35.

The tours are three hours long, and the noon cutoff is just to start the tour. So you could be there through 3pm...

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