DESCENDANTS OF 1920s African American chauffeur Irvin Tabor and the residents of the Venice beachfront community in Los Angeles are calling on the city authorities to grant historic-cultural monument status to a number of properties he helped to build.
Mr Tabor was a personal driver and confidant to property developer Abbot Kinney who gave him land and a house on the Grand Canal in Venice in 1920. Racist bye-laws stopped blacks from living on the canals at that time so Mr Tabor cut the house in three and used donkeys to move it to the Oakwood neighbourhood of Venice, where it now stands as a historical landmark to racial segregation.
The new owners of the properties, which are now worth nearly $6 million each, want to ‘update’ the interiors, roofs and windows but local residents and members of Mr Tabor’s family want the bungalows to stay the same as when they were first built.
Jataun Vataun Valentine, great-great-nephew of Irvin Tabor, said:
I’d like to see the property made into a historic monument so future generations can know the history. The neighbourhood has a long and rich ethnically diverse history and the city should honour that.