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The Boundaries of Koreatown in Los Angeles

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Introduction

Koreatown is situated in the Mid-Wilshire district, in the neighborhood of the Los Angeles city. The town emerged because of concentration of the Korean-American people and institutions in the area. The town covers about 3-square miles, and it has the highest number of the Asian people, in America. The town is characterized by the existence of high fashion boutiques for the Asians and having the highest number of the nightclubs. In establishing of the boundary of the town, the city of Los Angeles has set out an official boundary for the town. The town’s boundary is set at Olympic Boulevard from Western Avenue to Vermont Avenue in the south and Western Avenue from Third street to Olympic Boulevard.

The town is believed to have begun in the 1870s when the Koreans started settling in the area, and they purchased a lot of the neighborhood. The coming of the Koreans to Los Angeles required a private fund to be used for the establishment of Westlake Park from a dumpsite. The park to be built was to occupy the property of Wilshire. Goldman (2009) establishes that the city then negotiated with Wilshire, to build a street that will bisect his property to meet the required width and that the street should be named in his honour.

The Western Businessmen Association was formed in the 1920s, which later became the Wilshire chamber of commerce. The association was involved in the construction of many buildings in the city of Los Angeles leading to the town development. During that time, there emerged many hotels and modern houses.

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The town played a crucial role in the Hollywood golden age when in the 1930s, the Ambassador Hotel was used to host the award ceremonies. At that time, the town was referred to as the Upper Eastside of the west coast, which made the Hollywood elites settle in the neighborhoods. The area became the leading place where the Hollywood movies and presence of the movie stars in the streets could be viewed.

The center was sold to the developers in 1951, following the decision that the city was restricted to the 13-storey limit. According to Goldman (2009), this led to moving westwards into the suburbs sweeping financial and commercial businesses relocating to the neighborhood’s district along Wilshire Boulevard between Vermont and Western Avenues. When the city concentrated on the development of the new constructed areas, the surrounding area was affected by declines in the existing commercial businesses. This led to the influx of the Koreans into the area during the 1960s after the lifting of immigration from the East Asia.

There was an effort to reverse the area’s development to prevent a further decline. In order to achieve this, the community established an advisory group that came up with a seven-year study. The group contacted the city planning department before they published the Wilshire center district that covered all the surrounding areas. The Heavy-Chemical Industry Drive that was initiated in the 1970s that displaced many Koreans resulted to more of them settling in the Wilshire center. The immigrants had to establish a foothold that was permanent resulting to the establishment of the Korean youth and community center. During that time, the population of the Koreans in the neighborhood had risen.

The Los Angeles chaos of 1992 resulted in the Korean-American uniting, to defend their properties. This violence stimulated them to fight against the racial discrimination. They were also involved in advocating for the development of the town, for they were the majority in it. The group mainly favored the social policies of the Republican Party. 

Smart growth of the city

In 2000 the city of Los Angeles began to promote a smart growth in order to aid in the developing of Koreatown by removing the construction tax. The town was eyed by the city because there was remarkably little land left for development by the city. The collapse of the economy of Japan and the stagnant economy of Korea made these countries eye Los Angeles. These countries began to invest in the town making the former businesspersons in the area see the need to return.

The University and Program (2000) assert that the city of Los Angeles designated the town to be a momentous graphics district. This was to be 300 square block graphics bordered by 6th Street and Olympic Boulevard from the north to the south, and from the west to the east, it was between St. Andrews place and Shatto.

Recently, the city council of Los Angeles has officially designated the boundaries of Koreatown and Little Bangladesh. The boundaries were designed that the town is bounded by Olympic Boulevard in the south, Vermont Avenue in the east, Third Street in the north and the Western Avenue in the west. In addition, University & Program (2000) observe that the town is bounded by the business corridor along Western Avenue from Third Street to Rosewood Avenue in the East Hollywood area. 

The little Bangladesh was set out within the town stretching Third Street that runs four blocks between South New Hampshire and South Alexandria Avenues.  

In conclusion, Koreatown is found in the city of Los Angeles where the occupants of the town are mainly people of the Asian origin. Some of the crucial streets in the city determine the town’s boundary. The town is believed to have begun many years ago, and within the town, it has Little Bangladesh. The town is designated to have peculiar graphics for the city.

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