In honor of Women’s History Month and Black History Month, Regency team members in Los Angeles visited Biddy Mason Memorial Park for a glimpse into the life of one of the city’s most influential and beloved residents. Located on the south side of the historic Bradbury Building, which is the oldest commercial building remaining in the central city, Biddy Mason Memorial Park was built to honor and revere Bridget “Biddy” Mason, a pioneering Black woman who fought for her freedom and became a landowner, philanthropist, and one of LA’s first Black real estate moguls.
A Story of Resilience
Born into slavery in 1818, Biddy ultimately petitioned for — and won — her freedom when her enslavers resettled in the free state of California in 1851. She then moved to Los Angeles, where she worked as a midwife and nurse before saving enough money to buy the one-acre property where Biddy Mason Memorial Park stands today.
Throughout the years, Biddy continued raising her own capital and purchased a major portion of what is now downtown Los Angeles. She used her newfound wealth, estimated to be worth $75 million today, to support underserved youth and families in the community, who lovingly referred to her as “Grandma Mason.” Her philanthropic efforts included funding schools, feeding and sheltering the poor, donating to charities, visiting and aiding prisoners, and more.
Persevering against all odds, Biddy died a free person and one of the wealthiest Black women in the country.
Building on the Past for a Stronger Future
As a workforce made up of nearly 60% women, Regency Centers proudly celebrates the achievements of those throughout history who have paved the way forward.
We had an amazing time visiting Biddy Mason Memorial Park as a team,” said Patrick Conway, Managing Director. “Biddy was and is a living embodiment of Regency’s company values, not only for her accomplishments in real estate, but because she worked tirelessly to better her community through philanthropy.
We wholeheartedly believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace makes us better, and strive to continue making meaningful progress toward greater racial equity and female representation — not just this month, but every month.