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L.A.’s Oldest Building?

The Sanchez Adobe in the Baldwin Hills, said to be the oldest building in Los Angeles.

The Sanchez Ranch is an official cultural and historic monument. Native Americans lived in the area for thousands of years. Archaeological evidence indicates a prehistoric Native American village existed on this site. Spaniards, Mexicans and Californios lived in the area before statehood. After the 1950s, Baldwin Hills came to have a special meaning in African American culture, as one of the epicenters of excellence in African American life across the nation along with Sugar Hill in Harlem and, under President Obama, the White House. The Baldwin Hills is the site of the largest urban park designed in the U.S. in over a century. Community allies reached an agreement with the county and oil company to better regulate the Baldwin Hills oil field in 2011, making it the most heavily regulated urban oil field in the nation according to the county.

According to an editorial in the L.A. Times:

On Los Angeles’ 231st birthday, a search for its oldest building

L.A.’s history can sometimes be hard to find. Some signs of its origins have been wiped away. And then there are the old structures added through annexation.

Click here for the full editorial.

With over 1,000 official cultural and historical landmarks in the City of Los Angeles, only about 100 relate to people of color, women, and Native Americans. This is astonishing, especially because the place was Indian country for about 10,000 years before contact, and Spanish or Mexican territory for hundreds of years before California joined the Union in 1850.

Click here for The City Project’s interactive mapping and analysis of city monuments that helps to faithfully, completely, and accurately depict the history and diversity of Los Angeles, including people of color, women, and Native Americans, and to stimulate and provoke a greater understanding of, and dialogue on, diversity, democracy and freedom.