Our Black Legacy Matters: Wilfandel Preservation

48989400_15927631119029_r.jpeg48989400_1592761727426429_r.jpeghttps://www.wilfandelclub.com 
 Our Black Legacy Matters: Wilfandel Preservation and Legacy Campaign

 
SUMMARY
Wilfandel Club Challenges Racial Covenants
Until the mid 1940’s racial covenants denied African Americans access to public facilities. To address the civic need of African American Angelenos, Fannie Williams and Della Williams, wife of world-renowned architect Paul Williams, with 50 enterprising women purchased the Wilfandel, a Revival Mediterranean style house. The Wilfandel members celebrated their club’s tenth anniversary by paying off their $28,000 mortgage. They envisioned the house for individuals of all races and ethnicities to participate in civic events and family celebrations.
 
This campaign is a collaborative effort of the multi-generational prominent African American women members who strive to continue its legacy of community outreach through civic betterment, philanthropic endeavors, scholarship and cultural enrichment.
 
The Clubhouse
Is located in the West Adams Terrace Historic Preservation Zone in Los Angeles, California and was built in 1912. The two story, 6254 sq. ft. house has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and gardens on an expansive 18,000 sq. ft. corner lot. A detached garage is topped by a two-bedroom guest apartment. This 75-year old organization is one of the few surviving historical black organizations in Los Angeles to continue to own property as the process of gentrification has changed the demographics of the surrounding community and erased cultural enclaves.
 
The Wilfandel members recognize the importance of preserving the century old structure and participate in fundraising efforts that include creation of a Donor Wall, annual cultural events and grant solicitation. 
 
As a result of the system upgrades and the  ‘shelter in place’ ordinance issued by Los Angeles Governor Newsom, the Wilfandel has been closed since January 1,2020 and has lost essential operational revenue.
 
 Help Continue the Wilfandel’s legacy. It Matters!
The funds raised by “Our Black Legacy Matters: The Wilfandel Preservation and Legacy Campaign” will ensure that the clubhouse continues to remain a valued and respected resource and expands its ability to serve the community. The Wilfandel Club seeks funds to renovate a two-bedroom guest apartment and to create a commercial kitchen; to improve, maintain and preserve the structure; and to cover operating expenses.
 
Budget
Our campaign goal is to raise $250,000.
General operations - $30,000
Preservation - $50,000
Renovation - $170,000
 
#Wilfandellegacy
#Blackwomenmatter
#Blackscholarship
#Blackcivicengagement
#Blacklegacy
#Blackwomenempowerment
 

Campaign Details
Who We Are, What We Do and Why it Matters!
Until the mid 1940’s racial covenants prevented African Americans access to public facilities. As a result, blacks were not able to join celebrations, attend seminars or participate in cultural events held at public locations . To address the needs of African American Angelenos, Fannie Williams and Della Williams, wife of world-renowned architect Paul Williams, with 50 enterprising women purchased the Wilfandel, a Revival Mediterranean style house. They envisioned the house for individuals of all races and ethnicities to participate in civic events and family celebrations.
 
This campaign is a collaborative effort of the multi-generational African American women Wilfandel members who range in age from 45 to 95. We represent a wide spectrum of industries and professions with high station in government, executive positions in academia and executive positions in the private sector. 
 
We joined the Wilfandel to preserve its legacy of community outreach through civic betterment, philanthropic endeavors, scholarship and cultural enrichment.  We share fond memories of attending art exhibits, book signings, poetry readings, workshops, seminars, lectures, rituals, celebrations and civic meetings with our family, members of the community and noteworthy individuals at the Wilfandel. Other professional and nonprofit organizations also schedule events at the stunning edifice. Over the decades, the Susan B. Komen Foundation, Language Immersion Charter School, Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers, LA Association of Black Professionals and St. Bridget Catholic Church have held exquisite events at the house. As a nonprofit, the Wilfandel offers reduced rental rates to similar organizations.
 
Wilfandel Club Challenges Racial Covenants
In 1945 the 50 visionary, trailblazing African American women purchased the house after raising funds for the down payment over a 3-year period. The ladies celebrated their club’s tenth anniversary with the payoff of their $28,000 mortgage secured by Broadway Federal, a minority owned bank. Comparable properties in the West Adams neighborhood, one of the oldest in the City of Los Angeles and known for its large number of historic buildings, structures and notable mansions, are now valued at over $1.5 million.
 
The Clubhouse
Is located in the West Adams Terrace Historic Preservation Overlay Zone (HPOZ), in Los Angeles, California and was built in 1912. The two story, 6254 sq. ft. house has 5 bedrooms, 4 baths and gardens on an expansive 18,000 sq. ft. corner lot. A detached garage is topped by a two-bedroom guest apartment. The ground floor houses the club’s business office, a large kitchen and dining area, the lanai and the public rooms used for countless meetings, lectures, concerts and charitable activities. On the upper floor are the separate ‘Bride’ and ‘Groom’ suites and a conference room.
 
Although the Wilfandel is not a historically designated landmark, it is highly regarded by the Los Angeles Conversancy, the largest preservation organization in the United States. Located in the preservation zone signifies that the house has historic, architectural, cultural or aesthetic significance. The Wilfandel is currently reviewing the requirements of the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage commission to determine if the house will qualify as a Los Angeles Cultural Monument due to its historical significance during the period of restrictive covenants.
 
75-Year Legacy of Cultural Significance
The club provides people of all races and cultures affordable access to an elegant venue for social and civic activities. We recognize the importance of remaining relevant as the demographics of the surrounding community continue to change. Over the years the nonprofit has been vital to the civic infrastructure of LA’s black community. Recognition of the historic legacy of the West Adams community and the ability to respond to the needs of the surrounding areas, are essential to the future of The Wilfandel Club.
 
Limited Black Homeownership and Gentrification
Income inequality, limited inter-generational wealth, and discriminatory lending and real estate practices contribute to the changing demographics of West Adams Terrance.  The once thriving African American community has been negatively affected by  the process of gentrification. The displacement of African American property owners  and limited resources to purchase in affluent areas have become common occurrences. The Wilfandel is one of the few surviving historical black organizations in Los Angeles to continue to own property.
 
Wilfandel Fundraising Efforts
The members recognize preservation as a cost effective way to remain relevant in the community and have participated in several efforts to generate capital. A Donor Wall exhibits the benefactor’s names prominently displayed in the lanai. 
 
The Wilfandel was recently awarded a grant to preserve historic African American cultural sites. The funds were allocated to make plumbing, electric and foundation upgrades to the 1912 building. The Wilfandel board decided the clubhouse would be closed January through April 2020 to complete the upgrades.
 
Challenges: Impact of COVID-19 and Social Distancing Events
Since April when Mayor Eric Garcetti announced that Los Angeles would ‘shelter in place’ to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, the Wilfandel has been closed.  COVID – 19 has severely affected the Wilfandel’s ability to receive essential rental revenue. As Los Angeles prepares to reopen, the members are in the process of determining how to effectively enforce social distancing at all club events.
 
Preservation and Renovation
Completed and Remaining Upgrades
The plumbing and electrical upgrades were completed in April 2020. Given the age of the structure, the building understandably requires regular maintenance and repairs. The remaining grant funds will be used to plaster, paint and fix the crumbling foundation that was identified in a recent inspection. The board is also aware of the need to update the house to be Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.
 
Renovation
The guest apartment over the garage has sustained significant damage and has been deemed unsafe and inhabitable. The roof, plumbing and electrical systems need repair along with the structural damage to the walls and flooring. Since affordable housing is one of Los Angeles most pressing issues, the renovation of the guesthouse could provide affordable housing to address the shortage and a source of income for the club.
 
Additionally we envision creating a commercial kitchen out of the existing conventional one. There is no commercial kitchen available to prepare food for catered events within a 4-mile radius of the property. The kitchen could be rented out to qualified and vetted chefs as another source of income.
 
The Process
Structural integrity and public safety are our primary concerns.  Consistent with the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and Principles, special consideration will be given to the historic use and the original design aesthetics of the property.  All construction will adhere to local standards and all current building codes. All work will be conducted by a licensed contractor, the proper building permits will be obtained and all inspections completed and approved.
 
Budget
Our campaign goal is to raise $250,000.
General operations - $30,000
Preservation - $50,000
Renovation - $170,000
 
Help Continue the Wilfandel’s legacy. It Matters!
A 2018 study conducted by the Los Angeles Conservancy Commission found that historic places contribute to the overall livability of the city and provides real value for every Angelenos.  As an historic civic organization our goals are service, sustainability, longevity and continued relevance.  The funds raised by “Our Black Legacy Matters: The Wilfandel Preservation and Legacy Campaign” will ensure that the clubhouse continues to remain a valued and respected resource and expand its ability to serve the community. The Wilfandel Club seeks funds to renovate a two-bedroom guest apartment and to create a commercial kitchen; to improve, maintain and preserve the structure; and to cover operating expenses.
 
We seek to build our online and social media presence and to forge deeper relationships and collaborations with institutions, our neighbors and the Los Angeles community at large. We envision the clubhouse as a unique and wonderful destination for scheduled civic events throughout the year.
 
The Wilfandel’s cultural significance legacy matters. If the club does not successfully reach our campaign goal, its 75-year presence in the community could come to an abrupt end. If that should happen, the community would lose a cultural hub, minority students accepted at 4-year universities would lose the opportunity to receive need-based scholarships, minority families and organizations would not have ready access to a distinguished and dignified, reasonably-priced venue for celebrations, rituals, and civic meetings. And another black-owned property would succumb to gentrification.
 
Please join the Preservation and Legacy campaign! There are four ways to support our campaign:
 
1.     Preservation, maintenance and repair of the Wilfandel
2.     Renovation of the guest apartment and creation of a commercial kitchen
3.     General operations to cover monthly expenses
4.     Donor Wall contribution. Designation at the Silver ($250 -$499),
                         Gold ($500 - $1999) or Platinum level ($2000 and up)
 
Ten percent (10%) of all campaign funds will be allocated to the Wilfandel Academic Scholarship program.
 
 
Ways to support our campaign
·      Donate.
The Wilfandel is designated as a 501(c)(3) organization. Your donation is tax-deductible. You can donate online via GoFundMe or mail a check to the following address:
o   The Wilfandel Club, Inc.
o   Preservation and Sustainability Campaign
o   3425 W. Adams Blvd
o   Los Angeles, CA 90018
 
·      Educate.
Share information about the Wilfandel and our campaign with your family, friends, colleagues and social media contacts. Please post a link for our campaign on multiple platforms and disseminate via email, text and word of mouth.
 
·      Participate.
Join our social media campaign. Expand our reach by ‘liking’ our campaign on social media outlets including Face Book, Instagram, Twitter and others. Encourage your contacts to do the same.
 
·      Designate.
All donations of any amount are welcome and appreciated! Please designate “Our Black Legacy Matters: The Wilfandel Preservation and Sustainability Campaign” as one you monitor. We will post updates and status reports as we build momentum, expand our support base and continue to provide valuable services to the community.
 
With gratitude,
We thank you.
We are all in this together!
 
Any donation will help make an impact. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this important cause.
 
#Wilfandellegacy
#Blackwomenmatter
#Blackscholarship
#Blackcivicengagement
#Blacklegacy
#Blackwomenempowerment

Donations

  • Jessie Ford 
    • $100 (Offline)
    • 11 hrs
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 1 d
  • Justin Lewis 
    • $30 
    • 1 d
  • Carole and Art Kaiser 
    • $100 
    • 1 d
  • Michael Hudson Sr 
    • $50 
    • 2 d
See all

Fundraising team (10)

Lauren Brown 
Organizer
Raised $1,875 from 16 donations
Los Angeles, CA
Wilfandel Club 
Registered nonprofit
Donations are 100% tax deductible.
Learn more
Carrie Griffith Henley 
Team member
Raised $3,655 from 16 donations
Rhonda Cotton 
Team member
Raised $2,150 from 14 donations
Sherri Lee-Lewis 
Team member
Raised $2,095 from 21 donations
Melonee Evans 
Team member
Raised $1,050 from 8 donations
See all
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