Friday, July 20, 2007

Interesting Wilshire Center Decline, Koreatown Rebirth Thread At Curbed LA!

Several of us had a rational debate/discussion on possible reasons why the Wilshire District went into decline and how it was reborn as Koreatown over at Curbed LA after Curbed LA linked to an feature on the neighborhood.

See the comments below the post at above link.


Edward said...


There is a very simple answer to your question- How Mid-Wilshire became Koreatown.

Mid-Wilshire is a victim of the ever increasing sprawl of Los Angeles. Mid-Wilshire was hot from the 30's to 60's but then Century City came around and took some of the businesses away such as the old insurance and financial services companies. The oil industry matured and got consolidated and those went away too. Those Hollywood stars who frequented Mid-Wilshire (Coconut Grove, Brown Derby, etc.) went North and West into Pacific Palisades, Burbank and the Valley. So by the 70's Mid-Wilshire had become a vacuum and dilapidated. What coincided with this? The Immigration Act of 1965 that essentially opened the doors to mass immigration from Asia and elsewhere.

Koreans saw the cheap real estate lining Olympic Blvd. just above West Adams and saw a ticket to the American Dream. The rest is a history I know, but too lazy to put up the the comments section of a blog I'm not too familiar with.

Brady Westwater said...

No, I agree with you that all of those factors were there and I watched them all happen from the late 1950's onward.

The only modifications I would make to your statement is that the oil companies were mostly Downtown at the time - only Texaco briefly moved to Mid-Wilshire, that I can recall, and the serious decline on Mid-Wilshire was more in the 1980's as many of banking and insurance buidngs were built in the early and mid 1970's.

Edward said...

Don't quote me on this, but I think that the Koreans moving into Mid-Wilshire and helping to redevelope it is a good thing. Otherwise, it would just be another Tijuanaville and part of a "greater" South LA.