Completed Projects: Vernon Central Streetscape Project

The Vernon Central Historic District, south of Downtown Los Angeles, became a LANI neighborhood in 1997. Central Avenue, the backbone of the community, was a vibrant cultural center throughout the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s. This “Little Harlem” was lined with jazz clubs and African-American merchants, and home to the historic Dunbar Hotel, one of the only luxury establishments serving African-Americans at the time. Unfortunately, the neighborhood had experienced divestment and blight, but the renovation of the Dunbar, the initiation of LANI, and other collaborations, marked the start of a community revitalization celebrating Central Avenues’ historic riches.

LANI worked with the former CRA/LA to engage neighborhood stakeholders in the process of planning streetscape improvements for Central Ave. from Washington Blvd. to Slauson Ave.  The project resulted in the completion of a conceptual plan document that identified crosswalk enhancements, bus shelters, pedestrian lighting and landscape elements. Through this conceptual plan, LANI was able to leverage additional funding, including funding for organizational development through a community fund grant from the Durfee Foundation, funding for street improvements in the form of handicap ramps from the City of Los Angeles, funding from Family Farms Market for a Memorial Park on their site, and funding for improved street lighting from the Los Angeles Bureau of Street Lighting.