Angels Walk LA: Going Back in Time at Second Baptist Church and Liberty Savings and Loan

Central Avenue was the cultural, social and entrepreneurial epicenter of the Black community in Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1940s.

Over the next several weeks, we will be introducing you to the newly installed Central Avenue Angels Walk. We will preview some of the highlights from this self-guided historic walking trail and hope that you are inspired one day soon to take advantage of a beautiful sunny LA day to enjoy what the full 1.6 mile trail has to offer.

Visit the website: https://www.angelswalkla.org/walks/central-avenue/. Printed guidebooks are available for this walk at Councilmember Curren Price’s District Office, call (323) 846-2651 for more information.

Second Baptist Church

A block west of Central Avenue, radiating from the corner of 24th Street and Griffith Avenue, stands Second Baptist Church, among the most influential of the city’s African American faith institutions. The church has had a remarkable history steeped in both spirituality and activism, particularly with regard to civil rights and community development.

Paul Revere Williams, an African American architect, and Norman Foote Marsh designed the building, Second Baptist’s third home. The gold-toned brick, Romanesque Revival structure, which opened in January 1926, featured seating for more than 2,000 congregants. It was Williams’ first major public commission and one of the few from the black community.

Liberty Savings and Loan

Organized in 1924, Liberty Building-Loan Association, later renamed Liberty Savings and Loan Association, was the first African American-owned business of its type west of the Rocky Mountains. The institution offered economical home mortgages at a time when white lenders refused to finance housing for African Americans and other marginalized groups in most parts of Los Angeles. Liberty’s founders established offices at 2504-2512 S. Central Ave. to encourage African Americans to save money and to invest in Liberty and other sound African American-owned businesses.

 

 

 


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