Historic View Park, with its sweeping views of the mountains and Downtown LA, sits atop a hillside in a beautiful part of South Los Angeles. Once upon a time, this affluent area of Los Angeles was the site of Olympic Village for the 1932 summer games. Over a nearly forty-year period (1923 to 1958), several architects and builders worked to create this idyllic neighborhood. As a result, View Park homes exhibit a diverse range of house styles while maintaining consistency in size, scale, and layout.
As with many neighborhoods throughout L.A. County, View Park was originally created with private, racially restrictive covenants in place. By 1940, eighty percent of the property in Los Angeles was barred to Black families. Consequently, View Park’s first few decades exemplified the American Dream as branded by a LAIC brochure and other advertisements like it: the neighborhood was a quiet suburb for white, white-collar families.
By the late 50s, with the blossoming Civil Rights movement, Black families began moving into View Park. At a time when places such as Brentwood and Bel-Air made it clear that blacks were not welcome, View Park became known as a Black enclave to elite, affluent, and famous Black residents. Entertainers including Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, dance/choreographer Debbie Allen, Loretta Devine, former Lakers star Michael Cooper, Jhene Aiko and even Nipsey Hussle also called it home. The surrounding streets and neighborhoods have also been featured in many of magazines and music videos.
There are plenty of reasons to live and shop in View Park and many of them are the thriving Black businesses just below the hill for its residents to enjoy. Restaurants, natural care, performance art and a historic wellness shop are just a few of the options.
Take Swift Cafe for example, a restaurant headed by Chef Kyndra McCrary. Swift was created with the help of a nutritionist to provide healthy and tasty food options. Swift Cafe is mostly plant based, taking inspiration from Indian, Thai, Caribbean, plus Central and South American cuisines.
For general wellness & beauty needs, there is the Nappily Naturals and Nappily Apothecary. Owned by husband9 and wife team, Umaar Norwood and Sharon Williams-Norwood. Nappily Naturals & Apothecary is a full-service beauty & wellness store offering organic, plant-based and herbal formulas that support natural haircare & holistic health lifestyles.
Another staple is Post and Beam LA. A legendary restaurant built by three black men, Brad Johnson, Govind Armstrong and more recently, Chef John Cleveland – who spent years building a restaurant by and for their community, a black-owned, -operated and-envisioned business in a neighborhood that needed and deserved it.
And who could forget the infamous, Simply Wholesome Restaurant and Store. Housed in a historical landmark, it has been serving the Los Angeles community since the early 1980s. They are dedicated to providing the community with the proper resources to live a healthy, creative and innovative lifestyle.
All in all, View Park is a magnificent neighborhood. Aesthetically pleasing to the eye and serene. If you want to experience the beauty of architecture, upper echelon comfort and the joys of Blackness, View Park is absolutely the place to be.