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LA and Getty Institute Launch 3-Year Mission To Find And Preserve The City's Black Historic Landmarks

The Lincoln Theatre, opened in 1927, was the largest of five theaters located along the Central Avenue corridor, then the heart of the city’s Black community. (Photo: Elizabeth Daniels, © J. Paul Getty Trust.)
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There are 1,200 designated local landmarks in Los Angeles, but only about 3% of them are linked to the city's African American history.

The Getty Conservation Institute and the city planning department's Office of Historic Resources are now on a mission to change that. The organizations are teaming up on a three-year project to identify and preserve places that best represent the history of Black Angelenos.

According to the institute's director, the goal is to make sure our landmarks paint a more complete and representative picture of the diversity of L.A. history. The project will also examine preservation methods for systemic bias.

The historic resources office has already created a framework for identifying African American heritage in the city based on civil rights, religion, social clubs, the visual arts and other criteria.

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In December the partnership convened a roundtable of leaders in Black history, urban planning and historic preservation along with community groups to get ideas, with the intention to continue such consultations going forward.

The next step? Hiring a person to lead the project, which will also offer paid internships.

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