Building Community: Pioneering Black Architects in L.A.: A Virtual Tour | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo: Paul Revere Williams (center) with Edgar Johnson and Norman Houston, Jr., photo via PBS SoCal; Norma Merrick Sklarek and Paul R. Williams photos from the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Building Community: Pioneering Black Architects in L.A.: A Virtual Tour

Building Community: Pioneering Black Architects in L.A.: A Virtual Tour

Wednesday, February 22, 2023 - 6:00pm Register

During this one-hour virtual tour, learn the stories of Norma Merrick Sklarek, Paul Revere Williams, and Robert Kennard (to name a few), and understand how Black architects shaped Los Angeles and influenced communities through advocacy and architecture. “Building  Community”  will challenge tourgoers to reflect on why it’s important for architects to understand and represent the communities for which they design buildings.

The tour travels through five different Los Angeles neighborhoods and cities, beginning in Beverly Hills and ending in the City of Compton. Virtually discover iconic historic buildings in Los Angeles and those that provided (and (still provide) positive spaces for the Black communities.

Featured Location(s)

Photo by Eric Staudenmaier Photography

28th Street Apartments

Paul Revere Williams, the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects, designed this YMCA to serve the African American community.
Owner Desiree Edwards at the Watts Coffee House. Photo courtesy of Desiree Edwards.

Watts Coffee House

Beloved Watts legacy business nourishes neighbors with soul food and history.
Exterior of Watts Happening Cultural Center. Photo by Rita Cofield.

Watts Happening Cultural Center

Since 1969, Black art, culture, and activism have flourished in this rare Late-Modern style building in the Watts neighborhood of South L.A.