Today, Baldwin Hills is home to the largest middle and upper-middle class African American community in Los Angeles. This hillside neighborhood ties together one of the most important strongholds of African American culture; forming the residential nexus of the Crenshaw community.
Since the 1960's Baldwin Hills has been a destination for doctors, entertainers and politicians. The term "the Black Beverly Hills" was born, with celebrities including Ray Charles, Ike and Tina Turner, Nancy Wilson, and former Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, settling into the lovely hillside homes.
The Baldwin Hills district of Los Angeles developed the Broadway-Crenshaw Center in November, 1947. This center is considered the oldest regional shopping center in operation in the United States.
The center was originally anchored by The Broadway and May department stores, and encompassed 555,000 square feet of retail space, including a Woolworth 5 & 10 and Von's Supermarket.
This open-air, center underwent a major redevelopment in the late 1980's. As a result, in 1989 a new 858,000 square foot, 2-level enclosed regional mall opened anchored by May Company, Sears, Broadway, and a freestanding Albertson's supermarket. In 1995 Magic Johnson Theatres opened a 15-plex cinema, followed in 2003 by the first ever opening of a 3-level Wal-Mart in the former Broadway building.
The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw area has undergone may permutations over the decades. Through it all the area has continued to endure and today is a tight-knit enclave determined to preserve its past while looking boldly toward the future.
Today we will transform Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza to a landmark destination that will be the pride of the community.