From the 1920s to the 1950s, Central Ave was the lifeblood of LA’s African-American community, not by choice but because segregation laws kept black people out of other neighborhoods. It was also a hotbed of jazz and R&B, a legacy commemorated every July with the Central Avenue Jazz Festival held outside the 1928 Dunbar Hotel.
Duke Ellington once maintained a suite at the Dunbar, which was LA’s only 1st-class hotel for African Americans. It’s now a low-income seniors center, but has been renovated and the facade faithfully restored. It's worth a peek.