Oral Histories

Interview of Lester O. Bankhead

African American architect who designed homes and churches in Los Angeles, including Chapel of Faith Baptist Church, Greater Life Missionary Baptist Church, and Greater New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church.
African-American Architects of Los Angeles: Lester O. Bankhead
African American Architects of Los Angeles
African American History
Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Design
Henderson, Wesley H.
Bankhead, Lester O.
Persons Present:
Bankhead and Henderson.
Place Conducted:
Bankhead's office in Los Angeles, California.
Supporting Documents:
Records relating to the interview are located in the office of the UCLA Library's Center for Oral History Research.
Interviewer Background and Preparation:
The interview was conducted by Wesley Henderson, B.S., Art & Design, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Master of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Ph.D., Architecture, UCLA. Henderson prepared for the interview by having a pre-interview with Williams, interviewing his associates, and relying on the background research for his UCLA doctoral dissertation, "Two Case Studies of African American Architects' Careers in Los Angeles, 1890-1945: Paul R. Williams, FAIA, and James H. Garrott, AIA."
Processing of Interview:
Steven J. Novak, editor, edited the interview. He checked the verbatim transcript of the interview against the original tape recordings, edited for punctuation, paragraphing, and spelling, and verified proper names. Words and phrases inserted by the editor have been bracketed. Bankhead reviewed the transcript. He verified proper names and made minor corrections and additions. Novak prepared the table of contents and index. Rebecca Stone, editorial assistant, prepared the biographical summary and interview history.
Regents of the University of California, UCLA Library.
Series Statement:
This project documents the work of selected African American architects who have enhanced the built environment, principally in the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Influenced by earlier pioneers such as Paul R. Williams, these individuals overcame bias and discrimination to create structures which have become emblematic of the uniqueness of local architecture.