The West Adams Heritage Association (WAHA) in collaboration with the California African American Museum (CAAM) is holding a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the murals commissioned by the company at the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance building at Western Avenue and Adams Boulevard.

The tour is Oct. 22 from noon-3 p.m. and will give participants an opportunity to view Golden State’s historic murals. There will be a morning tour as well, hosted by CAAM, which takes visitors to see the murals and St. Elmo Village.

The reason for this rare viewing is because the murals are endanger of being removed, and this might be the public’s last chance to see these historical paintings that describe California’s African American history.

The images, which include early Black settlers, historical events, and physical terrain, were created by Charles Alston and Hale Woodruff. The building was designed and built by architect Paul Williams.

In recent years, Golden State Mutual was taken over by the state and some of the art collection the company amassed was sold. Currently, the company that bought the building and the state are in a battle to see who will retain ownership of the murals, and there are about 120 other pieces of work from the collection still unsold.

CAAM recently opened the exhibit, “Places of Validation, Art & Progression,” which will be on view until April 1, 2012. The show feature about 60 pieces from the Golden State Mutual art collection that have not yet been sold. The show is part of the city-wide arts effort under the umbrella Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980.

Advance tickets are $15 for the afternoon tour and can be purchased at, or call CAAM at (213) 744-7536 or (213) 744-7432 regarding the morning bus tour.