Koreatown History

Koreatown is a neighborhood in Central Los Angeles, California, centered near Eighth Street and Irolo Street. Koreans began immigrating in larger numbers in the 1960s and found housing in the Mid-Wilshire area. Many opened businesses as they found rent and tolerance towards the growing Korean population. Many of the historic Art deco buildings with terra cotta facades have been preserved because the buildings remained economically viable for the new businesses.

Today, Koreatown is quickly becoming one of LA's most popular neighborhoods, with David Chang, world-renowned chef and founder of the Momofuku Restaurant Group, crowning it the, "most exciting place to eat in America."

Koreatown is the most densely populated district by population in Los Angeles County, with some 120,000 residents in 2.7 square miles. Despite the name evoking a traditional ethnic enclave, the community is complex and has an impact on areas outside the traditional boundaries. While the neighborhood culture has historically been oriented to the Korean immigrant population, Korean business owners are creating stronger ties to the Latino community in Koreatown.

The community is highly diverse ethnically, with half the residents being Latino and a third being Asian. Two-thirds of the residents were born outside of the United States, a high figure compared to the rest of the city.