Saturday, November 18, 2017
2012 Review: Historical Sites
By Sentinel Staff News
Published January 2, 2013


The Crenshaw District is rich with historical sites that hold relevance for the Black community in this area. Many of them were highlighted in 2012 including Leimert Park, Sugar Hill and Wellington Square.

Photo By Troy Tieuel

Leimert Park has acted as the hub of news, culture and black business for over 80 years. 

Known as the hub of African-American Art and progress, Leimert Park (LP) has informed the community for over 80 years. Central to the neighborhood of LP, it is encompassed by Crenshaw Boulevard, 4th Street, Vernon and Roxton Avenues. The Olmsted Bros. designers, in partnership with Walter H. Leimert, brought this staple into existence. However, it would be the surrounding establishments and a few historic occurrences that would bring the locus to life. 

Photo By Brian W. Carter

Sugar Hill was home to some of the most influential African Americans in history. Many of the homes were constructed as early as the 1900’s like this residence which is now the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.

Adams Blvd., off Crenshaw, was once a plush and luxurious neighborhood for the rich, wealthy and elite African Americans known as “Sugar Hill.” In the early 1900s, the West Adams area became home to wealthy and successful entrepreneurs, businessmen and magnates. Many Black actors and entertainers at the time either worked or lived in Sugar Hill including Hattie McDaniel, first African-American actress to win an Oscar, singer and actress Lena Horne, musician Ray Charles, jazz organist Earl Grant and actress Louise Beavers among others.

Wellington Square was once home to actress Dorothy Dandrige among other notable actors, musicians and people of interests

Wellington Square’s celebrated residents of bygone days have included the great jazz pianist Dorothy Donegan; Evelyn Freeman Roberts and her husband, Tommy Roberts, co-founders of the Young Saints Scholarship Foundation; actor-comedian Nick Stewart, who played “Lightnin'” on the “Amos ‘n’ Andy” TV series and founded the Ebony Showcase Theater; UCLA Bruins and Lakers basketball star Lucius Allen; decorated Civil War soldier Norman Ives; and Drs. John and Vada Sommerville, pioneering African American dentists, civil rights leaders and the first owners of the Dunbar Hotel (then called the Hotel Sommerville) on Central Avenue.


Categories: Crenshaw & Around

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