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Black History Month: Take a walking tour of Compton architecture

Black History Month: Take a walking tour of Compton architecture
The Martin Luther King Jr. Transit Center is included on the walking tour "Iconic LA Tours: Compton" on Feb. 26. (Nico Marques)

Years after designing Compton City Hall, African American architect Harold Williams said he was determined to bring well-crafted architecture to the community because "all people deserve quality architecture."

In honor of Black History Month, the Los Angeles chapter of the American Institute of Architects will host a walking tour on Feb. 26 highlighting the work of black architects and the barriers they had to overcome. Williams, for instance, designed Compton City Hall during a time when African American architects rarely obtained such commissions. The building was completed in 1976.

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African American architect Harold Williams designed Compton City Hall, which was completed in 1976.
African American architect Harold Williams designed Compton City Hall, which was completed in 1976. (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times)

Led by Los Angeles chapter board members Drake Dillard, who designed Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, and architect Jason Morris, the tour will feature the exteriors of Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital, King Drew Magnet High School of Medicine and Science, Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center (the original building), the physician's dormitory at what used to be Martin Luther King Jr./Drew Medical Center but is now a recuperative care center to aid homeless, Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Douglas F. Dollarhide Community Center, Martin Luther King Jr.  Transit Center, and Compton City Hall.

The tour is an offshoot of a map published by AIA|LA and the National Organization of Minority Architects documenting the contributions of African American designers and architects in Los Angeles.

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Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital opened its doors to the public in 2015.
Martin Luther King Jr. Community Hospital opened its doors to the public in 2015. (Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

What: Iconic LA Tours: Compton

When: 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 26

Where: Attendees will be notified of tour starting location upon registration

Tickets: $40 AIA members, $55 nonmembers

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Registration: www.aialosangeles.org

Twitter: @lisaboone19 

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