The Los Angeles African American Historic Places Project, as the three-year initiative is called, will see the Getty’s Conservation Institute and the city’s Office of Historic Resources (OHR) work with communities and cultural institutions to celebrate sites that best represent Black life.
The project is “ultimately about equity,” Conservation Institute director Tim Whalen said in a statement.
Currently, just over three percent of the city’s roughly 1,200 historic landmarks are tied to African American heritage, and part of the plan, Whalen said, is to examine preservation methods “for systemic bias.”
“Historic preservation is about the acknowledgment and elevation of places and stories,” Whalen said, adding that the goal is to make sure “the stories and places of African Americans in Los Angeles are more present and complete.”
In addition to the designation of new landmark sites, the project will offer paid internships to young preservation professions and include a series of community programs.
While specific details about these and other projects are yet to be made public, the Conservation Institute and OHR have identified a handful of priorities for phase one, including developing plans to “manage, preserve, interpret, and celebrate the tangible and intangible heritage of historically Black neighborhoods.”