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

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Not all residents are pleased about it

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.

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 Times feature 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.