Abbot Kinney, the visionary founder of Venice of America, had a close friend and advisor who, because of the times and the color of his skin, was forced to play the role of personal assistant and driver.
Despite the fact that he was unable to claim his true role as confidant and equal to the famous developer, Irving Tabor stood by his friend, and, when Kinney died, he rewarded Tabor by leaving him a man’s most prized and personal possessions – his home. The house, which was on the canals and served as a social club, a girl’s school, and then finally Kinney’s abode, was troublesome for Tabor to inhabit due to racial covenants keeping African Americans from residing in the canals. Not to be thwarted by bigotry, Tabor came up with a simple and brilliant solution – he would move the house to a neighborhood he could live in. Separating the house into two parts, he used the canals to float his new home to Oakwood, a much more welcoming area that despite the attempted gentrification remains an important piece of African American culture in Venice Beach.
In 2008, the building was granted status as a Historic-Cultural Monument by the City Council.