Mapping LA Neighborhoods
MAPPING L.A. > Central L.A.

Koreatown

Tell us what Koreatown means to you

  • What makes this a good place to live? What are the downsides?

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I feel more unsafe. I hear helicopter and police siren every day. It was not like this years ago. Please look out for koreatown. -F

— Fernando
May 26, 2013 at 4:27 p.m.

Feels like this place is getting more dangerous. I hear tons more helicopters that sound serious. And Ive been here for about 18 years

— Carlos
September 12, 2012 at 12:28 p.m.

A place for BBQ because everything else is not translatable...

— Gen
September 3, 2012 at 12:40 p.m.

Ktown has everything. And it's close to everything because it's literally the center of Los Angeles.

After living here for over 3 years I can say it is very safe, EXCEPT south of Wilshire Blvd.

Some may disagree, and that's fine.

I just think you're in denial.

But as long as you live north of Wilshire Blvd., Ktown is a very convenient and safe neighborhood with hard working, hard partying folks.

— SurfsUp
August 31, 2012 at 10:44 a.m.

Being from NYC Manhattan the Ktown there is small

I love L.A.Ktown they have everything . It's in between downtown and Beverly Hills via Wilshire or Olympic. They have adequate public transportation train and bus for those who don't feel it is a necessity to drive like most California's. Very safe area. Koreans are cultured and spiritually conscious hard working high class and cleanliness ( purity) is a top priority. The buildings are amazing. Overall A+ for KTOWN L.A.

— Sparkle
July 27, 2012 at 12:07 p.m.

I love Koreatown, but I'm moving because I saw someone shot in the street last Saturday at 3rd + Kenmore. Broad daylight. Gang graffiti is all over my street. ADWs all day and night. Organized crime is to dangerous. Why stay?

— click
July 22, 2012 at 1:28 a.m.

I was reading most of reviews. Some peoples please just stop. I lived here 7 years now. 5am to 3am. My life continous all day. Work school life. If you are wearing all this and that label, glittery shinny high end stuff head to toe then you are not safe everywhere. But regular person like me no worries. Its all that hard working asians and hispanics. Who are trying to build their life. Not those people who are going some spa and complaining about everything. Ktown is extremely close to everthing. Yes i can say everything. People are nice in here. If u wondering about crime, found body stuff thats what happens everywhere. Beverly hills hancook park westwood even in paris. So be practical. More asians quiter the places.

— Kenmoremama
July 4, 2012 at 2:56 a.m.

Koreatown has nothing bad to it , it has it's down sometimes but not always . I've lived here my whole life & their is nothing wrong I grew up safe . Nothing ever happened to me . I want my kids to grow up here . i have so many memories here . Nothing would ever replace my hometown . If you guys are so insecure about living here then don't . People actually became artist out of this town , as a fact a korean rapper grew up here . Dumbfoundead . My love for koreatown is more than ever <3

— T(;
May 5, 2012 at 6:28 p.m.

K-town is definitely entertaining. It's a joy listening to the korean children practicing their piano and violin after school, while it's not such a joy watching 'others' littering the neighborhood and spraying grafitti on property that the Koreans have worked so hard to maintain and present a pleasant aesthetic neighborhood.

— Rosen
March 17, 2012 at 6:39 p.m.

I'm curious as to why some people seem to have an allergic reaction to being part of (or insinuated as being part of) K-town. Most just sound snobby, elitist, and ethnocentric. Have you been to the area (as newly and formally designated)? I grew up here too and I've seen some dramatic changes in the past twenty years. Do you also realize where most of the investments came from? People are investing in the area because it's called Koreatown. It's changing and though we won't know what it will look like 20 years from now, I like what I'm seeing thus far. I wish the K-town residents (of all ethnicities) would work together more and stop blaming each other. Then maybe we can get some good people (of any ethnicity) on the council seats who will be willing to work with its diverse community. Considering there's been a Korean/Korean-American community here since the 1940s... I'm not sure how some people are so surprised... Also, Koreatown had a sign like Wilshire Center for years. It didn't mean anything - that's why Little Bangladesh had room to be designated, just like K-town. Get over it peoples, the area has been changing for over seven decades. Decades. Sure there are issues, but I can honestly say that I love the diversity and the way the area is growing!

— KtownLove
March 5, 2012 at 2:26 a.m.

Wilshire Park should not be on this map. Koreatown ends at Western. Is the LA Times trying to override reality? Both are great neighborhoods, why deny them each their own identity? This should be fixed.

— Tbkla
February 13, 2012 at 2 p.m.

I love Ktown. I moved here from West Hollywood a few years ago, and I wouldn't go anywhere else. Rents are affordable and the buildings are amazing classic pieces of architecture.

So many great cultural opportunities are here: spas, barbeque, tea houses, karaoke. It offers much more than the average gentrified neighborhood.

Get off your high horse if you don't like diversity. Yes, we have homeless people and immigrants who don't speak English. They add to the culture and beauty of the city. This place is real, where most people work honest jobs and are trying to live good, decent lives.

Sorry if this doesn't fit your trust-fund standards, but this is the real world... and it's awesome.

Also, it is very rare that I feel unsafe here. There are so many people around that it's hard to commit crimes . That doesn't mean people shouldn't be safe.

— Josh
January 22, 2012 at 11:11 a.m.

Ive lived in K town most of my life and love every single day of it, you'll notice every year that gose by there will be different and new things to see and a new place to be because places are always changein and for the better too all of you talk about how it's dirty and how streets are a

Mess but don't do anything about it I feel that the more time you spend complaning about these things you can be doing something about it like I don't walk around looking at all the bad things but all the things that are beautiful in K Town , also if you live here you should know K Town is what the locals call it. Yes there might be a few things wrong with this place but there's access to so Many places and veiws that are extremely amazing if you just explore if your a local like me then you'll get me if your not then don't take my word come out here and see it for yourself it is one of the best places to be and not to mention grow up in and grow up not being afraid of anything this place has helped me take on the world but I will always come back here because this is my home and there is no place like this my home K Town!

— Kevin V
January 18, 2012 at 9:33 a.m.

I lived on Alexandria for nearly 40 years and when we moved in, the area was real clean and safe, now after many years this area is so dirty that it is a shame that people come from another country, like i did and live like the way they did at their countries, we came here to better ourselves, not to live like they did at their countries,

— fernando
January 17, 2012 at 7:21 a.m.

I'm moving to a building on kenmore and 4th... People are making me nervous now with how that area is. I'll be parking in a structure on 6th and kenmore... Is it THAT dangerous???? to walk from there to my place?

— natalie
December 19, 2011 at 11:54 p.m.

How are there so many GTAs, is it really as easy to steal a car as in the movies? Where do all the cars go?

— James
October 13, 2011 at 9:33 p.m.

I <3 KOREATOWN

— Daniel
September 26, 2011 at 7:08 p.m.

The LA Times refuses to correct this map. Koreatown's western boundary is Western Avenue.

— RO
September 5, 2011 at 6:30 a.m.

If you drive by Beverly and Bonnie brae you will see a sign that said Wilshire Center and also on Hoover and Pico

— Cristian
May 31, 2011 at 9:57 a.m.

There were several bodies being covered by paramedics, just north of Beverly Blvd. on Normandie Ave., yesterday afternoon around 2pm. What happened? Anyone want to cover that story?

— Alex
May 31, 2011 at 1:46 a.m.

I've lived in koreatown for two years now, and I love it here. The location is extremely convenient to major LA freeways, very close to public transportation, and there is a lot within walking distance. I walk to work every day, and feel safe. No matter what neighborhood I live in, I would never go out walking by myself in the early morning/late evening...common sense is always important. ;) The prices are very reasonable, and you can find some great deals. The quality of neighborhood in koreatown does depend on what street--it seems to change very quickly, especially around 3rd street. But, overall, I have been very pleased.

— Jessie
May 12, 2011 at 8:10 p.m.

I grew up in the middle of east hollywood and koreatown. both of these neighborhoods are extremely dense but not well kept. which is really sad. it makes me angry and sad to see how gentrified both of these areas are becoming and still no one cares enough (politically) to help clean these neighborhoods up.

— esco
April 25, 2011 at 8:45 p.m.

This is an awful place to live! It is full of uneducated people who have no respect for others or the property of others. People will park in front of your garage and block you in and then claim that your driveway is a "public parking lot." Bums dig through your garbage and throw it all over your yard. When you put new locks on your gates so they can't get in, they will break them (we've replaced the locks and repaired the gate more than a few times). Don't leave anything in your yard, including birthday balloons for your child, unless you want it to be stolen. If you plan to go outside your yard, be prepared to walk over piles of garbage and possibly human waste. This is a gross, low income, uneducated area. We made a mistake moving here, and we will be out as soon as we can. Oh, and I forgot to mention the threats from a couple gang members. Not a good place!!!

— MamaBear
March 23, 2011 at 1:21 p.m.

It is time that the ivory tower City Council stops banning food trucks and starts fixing the streets, cleaning up sidewalks, and making these roads as nice as the ones in Larchmont! This neighborhood generates so much property and business tax because of its high density. We need cleaner, nicer streets!!!! And more trees!

— Gramercy
December 14, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.

I am right there with Tamara, Ditto!!!

— JB
December 1, 2010 at 9:07 a.m.

I've been living in K-town for a few years now, and as much as I love the neighborhood, I am sad to say that I have seen a fast decline in the safety & appearance of the streets and the "quality" of new residents moving in since the new school opened.

anyone else feeling the same way?

— EA757
November 30, 2010 at 5:13 p.m.

The neighborhood may look gritty but ultimately it is pretty safe. Don't be paranoid but do be vigilant. This is not the neighborhood to leave valuables in your car, but your more likely to find a parking ticket then a broken window.

To those who feel lumped into Koreatown get over it.

— A
October 20, 2010 at 10 p.m.

I started checking LAPD crime maps just after I made the deposit and signed the lease of my GORGEOUS Koreatown apartment. Somehow google linked me to it. Bad idea. Now I am so paranoid here I can barely stand it. I wish I lived in Emily's state of happiness and bliss. However, becoming more and more secure as the days go by.

— Tamara
October 19, 2010 at 4:48 p.m.

Love it! Apartments are affordable, I feel safe even at night, there's good public transit service, and the cultural diversity is pretty cool. The only downside is there isn't really a good supermarket in the area.

— Emily
October 16, 2010 at 11:42 p.m.

All this moaning about lack of services for Koreatown is as a result of among other things; lack of voting power by the Koreans living there. If the Koreans put as much effort into organizing voters as they put into drinking and singing, believe me the politicians will pay attention. And it will take new and younger Korean generation to accomplish this. But it is so difficult when you have "elder" first-immigrant Koreans wanting to hold onto power. And the sad fact is that these "elders" are only interested in political powerplay as it relates to the nation of South Korea and the recognition that it brings. It's sad indeed!

— David Kim
October 8, 2010 at 4:34 p.m.

The city council member for this area has recently banned food trucks. He also neglects appropriating funds to clean up Koreatown, even though he gets quite a bit of tax revenue from this area. Does this guy really represent Koreatown? Who is this guy? He needs to go away. Someone please replace him.

— Angelino
October 2, 2010 at 12:44 p.m.

Look at the middle of the actual map, it reads "Wilshire Center" then below it, it reads Wilshire Center/Koreatown. The area that the Times lists as "Koreatown" has historically been known as "Wilshire Center" by the City for the last 30 years . But just last month in August of 2010 the City finally designated the official boundaries of Koreatown. This means that today the area of Wilshire Center and Koreatown are the same, by City standards. So, to the Los Angeles Times, if you want to list the area correctly, it is "WILSHIRE CENTER/KOREATOWN". I hope one day you will get it right.

— Hong Tran
September 30, 2010 at 11:16 p.m.

I would like to update the LA Times that this article forgot to mention Wilshire Park as a separate but neighboring community to Koreatown.

— jude
September 15, 2010 at 8:45 p.m.

Why hasn't the city yet appropriated the necessary funds to clean up Koreatown? Just west, the streets of Hancock Park and Miracle Mile are so clean! Koreatown is one of the densest neighborhoods in America, there is a very high amount of property tax, county and state tax being collected from this region. However, City Council refuses to appropriate Koreatown's fair share of funds to clean up Koreatown. Lets think about the future, and clean up Koreatown people of the LA City Council.

— ray
September 11, 2010 at 7:49 p.m.

Dear Times: Now that the Los Angeles City Council has established reasonable and agreeable boundaries for a "Koreatown" (after MUCH study and debate), would you PLEASE revise your map and take Wilshire Park, St. Andrews Square, and other incorrectly included neighborhoods out of your overly-broad "Koreatown?" Thank you. 9-2-2010

— John H. Welborne
September 2, 2010 at 9:10 p.m.

When is the LA Times going to correct the Koreatown Map? FINALLY the City Council has established boundaries for Koreatown which respect the 100 year-old communities that have never been historically Korean. It's time that the LA Times get it right too, though it's going to be a long time before any of the incorrectly included neighborhoods will have and respect for the Times after the way this project was managed.

— B
August 29, 2010 at 9:08 p.m.

The City says Koreatown stops at Western. Have you gotten the bulletin yet, Los Angeles Times? You're behind the times.

— RSA
August 26, 2010 at 12:47 p.m.

It is finally official - this map is not accurate. LA City Council has, at long last, designated the borders of Koreatown, and it DOES NOT include any area west of Western. Enough ethic flag planting. LA TIMES - PLEASE CORRECT THIS MAP!!!!!!!

— R
August 25, 2010 at 4:37 a.m.

This is not Koreatown. I am sick of being told I live in Koreatown when I am north of Wilshire Blvd. There is a big City sign that says "Wilshire Center", just like the one big sign that says "Koreatown" on Olympic. LA Times and the city need to have respect for ALL the other ethnicities that were here before anyone named Sung opened up a Boba cafe...on every corner. Capiche??

— why
July 25, 2010 at 1:10 p.m.

K-town 4 life!

— J wheezy
June 28, 2010 at 9:18 a.m.

The technical name for this neighborhood is 'Wilshire Center' and, as such, should be given its proper and historically factual name on the LA Times site. While the boundaries may be blurred between Koreatown and Wilshire Center, one needn’t look further than those beautiful neon signs that welcome you to this unique part of town.

— William
May 18, 2010 at 6:14 p.m.

I grew up on 4th and Virgil. My Dad had his own Medical office on Shatto and 6th. It was so quiet back then and fairly safe. My grandparents also lived with us and My Grandma would take us and pick us up from school. I went to Pilgrim so I would walk everyday. It was also cool that I lived so close because ditching class was great! During the weekends, my grandparents would take us to Lafayette or MacArthur Park to play. I remember 10 band Mariachi bands playing while I was playing in the sand. I loved buying elotes from the vendors and walking around the park. It was pretty dangerous back then but I was a kid, it didn't matter. Carl's Jr was a spot I often liked to hang out in . Once Shatto park was built, I played Tennis all day and would hit up Shatto lanes to play video games. I can't forget Sunday brunches at Sizzler and going to Precious Blood Church.

My grandparents have passed so when I pass by this neighborhood, I think of them and miss them dearly. My father's business is gone and he has passes as well. I always considered him a pioneer and am very proud of his accomplishments. He came from a third world country and lived the American Dream.

I stayed at my parents condo until I finished my BA and MA. The neighborhood became unsafe and it was time to go. I miss my "hood" and I will always remember the good times.

— Jennifer
March 29, 2010 at 12:38 p.m.

There are two elements at play here - Koreatown is very aggressively claiming areas that were never historically Korean. We all should have learned from past mistakes that flag-planting and self-congratulation doesn't work out well. It used to be that naming a part of town after an ethnicity - any ethnicity - was a racial slur - the 1970s changed that. None of us should be promoting our own ancestry over another's.

The other problem is the condition and ethos in Koreatown - the bars, the prostitution, the filthy sidewalks, the poor judgment in development, the push for more and more density, the destruction of the REAL historic areas, the segregation and unconstitutional exclusion of non-Koreans from the rental and housing market, the gangs, the visual blight, the shady businesses, the corruption, and on and on. To have a home that is termed as located "in Koreatown" is not a plus - unless you're Korean and don't want other races around you. And that's just plain wrong. And that's why there is push back.

And a question for you - why, all of a sudden, is it necessary to claim more and more territory? That is really what has changed, not everyone else.

— FKM
March 18, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.

I don't quite understand why everybody is pulling out the race card when the definition of Koreatown is just an arbitrary destination. It is what it is. I was born and raised in Koreatown and have been residing here for 25 years...growing up, people outside of the korean and hispanic demographic didn't care about Koreatown because to be racially charged...the white demographic didn't live in koreatown because it was too "ghetto." why in the world are people starting to take an interest now?

— tina lee
March 14, 2010 at 3:37 a.m.

What makes this area historically and culturally significant are such treasures as the Wilshire-Ebell Theater and the many fine homes built by many significant architects in such architectural styles as Dutch Colonial, Mediterranean, Craftsman, Spanish Revival, Prairie and Moderne. One neighborhood in the area has already been declared an Historic Preservation Overlay Zone and others are set to follow. It is mind-boggling that members of the Korean community continually attempt to co-opt this area and to lay claim to its many contributions to this historically and culturally significant area -- all of which existed long before Koreans moved into the area. The only contributions Koreans have made to the area are ugly malls, tacky plastic banners, hideous apartment buildings and a seemingly insatiable appetite for chopping down trees, paving yards, erecting walls and destroying historic homes? What utter nerve and bold-faced hypocrisy.

— RAMS
March 12, 2010 at 5:16 p.m.

Last night, Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council met with Chang Lee of the Korean Federation. After a lot of back and forth and a clandestine "Petition to Name or Rename Communities" proposing to name the area on this map "Koreatown" it was announced and agreed that the western boundary of Koreatown is WESTERN AVENUE. This was good news to those of us who live in areas that do not fit the demographics of Koreatown. What was disappointing is that this petition was not presented to most of the residents of the areas excised from the original petition - the area on the west. It was deliberately kept secret because it was obvious to the petitioners that there would be opposition. Maybe now, if the City makes it official, we won't have to wonder what is going on behind our backs. Enough flag planting.

— FKM
March 11, 2010 at 6:03 p.m.

To All: Please read Wilshire Boulevard: Grand Concourse of Los Angeles (http://www.amazon.com/Wilshire-Boulevard-Grand-Concourse-Angeles/dp/1883318556), it will answer many of your questions. There is a great chapter in the book called "Wilshire Center".

Yes, Wilshire Center is a real place, so is Koreatown, Wilshire Park, St. Andrews Square, Westlake, etc. Historically and by the Los Angeles City Planning Department, Koreatown is along Olympic Blvd from Western to Vermont with the centerpiece being at Olympic and Normandie, if you don't believe me go to Olympic and Normandie, there will see the Koreatown city signs and other Korean elements. Historic Koreatown then extends only a couple of blocks north and south of Olympic.

Historically and by the Los Angeles City Planning Department standards Wilshire Center is from Wilton to Hover and from 3rd Street to 8th Street. You can also clearly see in the Google map image that the times is using it says "Wilshire Center/Koreatown". I would suggest that if the Times doesn't fix their map they should at the very least change the name to Wilshire Center/Koreatown like Google did, like the name of WCK-NC is, the CRA project area, etc.

Please do not rewrite history, it's not fair to our city.

— Samuel Nguyen
January 31, 2010 at 1:43 p.m.

Koreatown!? I lived at 1st and Catalina during the 40s and 50s, and I think it was almost all European-American. So now it's more than half Latino and more than one-third Asian. What a dramatic change. But of course all of LA is changing, and perhaps that means greater richness of diversity. I'll bet there are some good pollo and kimchee restaurants in the area now. I'll have to check them out! (Oh yes, the DC metro area is also quite diverse, so I can compare the pollo in both metro areas!)

— Bill Hanna
January 26, 2010 at 11:43 a.m.

Eric writing Sept 2009. "The neighborhood wasn't better just whiter". You may be right Eric but I can tell you that no one had bars on their windows in the 1950s. First grade kids walked to school on their own. You could walk on any street after dark and no one bothered you. I don't know how safe you are on the streets or if grammar school kids still walk to school without a guardian but I did drive through the neighborhood a couple of years ago and to me it looked like the metal window bars, metal fences and gates on many houses said the neighborhood was not that safe. Some of us older people may last longer then you.

— Richard
January 6, 2010 at 9:54 p.m.

Kristina

I have lived in the "unknown area" between Beverly and 1st for 14 years. The neighborhood has changed a lot in the last 14 years. For the longest time, I thought our neighborhood was named Mid Wilshire.

I did read the budding Pakistani community in the neighborhood has petitioned the city to rename this area "Little Bangladesh".

I still don't know the name.

Perhaps we live in the Twilight Zone....

On thing can be said about this neighborhood is how culturally diverse and international its citizens are.

— wiccan23
October 23, 2009 at 2:16 a.m.

I recently moved between Beverly and 3rd, on Kenmore and my zip code is 90004. I come from 9 years on the Westside and so I'm in a whole new area that I don't know much about. I'm curious to know what district local residents would label where I'm living. It's missing the "Korea" of Koreatown for sure. My neighborhood is mostly Hispanic. When people ask where I've moved, I tell them North of Koreatown and West of Silverlake. But I'd like to know if there is a moniker for my neighborhood.

— Kristina Slade
October 21, 2009 at 11:29 a.m.

Eric - your posting is the one that is overheated. It is just plain evil to wish death to anyone who disagrees with you over these silly, arbitrary boundaries established for dubious reasons by unscientific methods. And playing the race card is despicable. If you think that your environment would be better if only those who agree with you were dead, then I feel sorry for you and for Koreatown.

— R. O.
September 28, 2009 at 1:29 p.m.

It would be hard for Julian to live "on the corner of 6th and Wilshire." Those two streets do not intersect.

If Julian lives at the corner of 6th St. and Wilton Place, however, he likely would be a resident of one of the communities west of "Koreatown," such as We-Wil (Western to Wilton; Sixth to Third).

If Julian's residence is on the southeast corner of that intersection, his residence would be within the boundaries of the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council. Otherwise, Julian's residence is in the area of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council -- west of the commercial area recently, and currently, known as "Koreatown." The critical mass of "Koreatown" is east of Western Avenue, as described by so many Times readers below.

— John H. Welborne
September 24, 2009 at 9:06 a.m.

So, I've lived on the corner of 6th and Wilshire now for over 2 years. When anyone asks where that is I try and explain, between Wilton and Western. "KoreaTown" is the usual retort. Sure I say, although there's a sign on Wilton stating it as Wilshire Center. But I go with KoreaTown just to be more simple. Though I quickly add that it's not the dirty, filthy part of KoreaTown, which in my view begins at Western. I love my neighborhood tho. RedTown, YellowTown, BlueTown, GreenTown. It all has it's charms..

— Julian
September 23, 2009 at 6:22 p.m.

I see some people getting heated over this mapping of where what is. So much Passion. Especially from the older crowd of "when I was growing up in the whatever...". and of course it was better back then like everything else right? Wrong! things were whiter back then, not better. Maybe better for you.

Ridiculous. how people get all worked up over one block being possibly mis labeled or how hard they worked to be somehow distinguished from their neighbor of 1 block. I wonder why...Your generation wont be around too much longer. Thank god. Hope he takes you.

— Eric
September 23, 2009 at 2:06 p.m.

I recently bought a condo near the western border of Koreatown. It is puzzling to see why some areas are so well kept if you go west towards Highland and Miracle Mile, but areas are so filthy if you venture east and south of Wilshire and Western. Does the city collect tax revenues from Korean businesses to spend in areas other than Koreatown? Given the high density of this area, I'd imagine property taxes, business taxes per square mile in this area is as high as most of the much cleaner neighborhoods in LA.

— Raymond
September 6, 2009 at 10:07 p.m.

My mother and I moved to the "Wilshire District" at 740 S. Hobart Blvd., It was the most impressive sight to ride down Wilshire Blvd., and to see all the beautiful glass buildings that sparkled. The "Equitable" building stood tall and sure. Within 3 years businesses on 7th Street between Vermont and Western were changing hands and store fronts started to look different. It seemed like a nice change. The area looked cleaner and brighter. Our apartment building changed owners and a gate was built around it. That was the beginning of a change that would affect how we experience that part of the Los Angeles area today. Whenever my husband and I return to Los Angeles, we always go back to revisit the old stomping grounds. We both have fond memories of the old "Wilshire District" that we once knew.

— Cindy Ramsey
September 3, 2009 at 1:50 a.m.

The LA Times has attached Wilshire Park (Wilshire to Olympic, Crenshaw to Wilton) as an incongruous bulge on the western edge of "Koreatown". I live in Wilshire Park. We are NOT in Koreatown. We are an exclusively residential, overwhelming single family, new HPOZ, not a highly commercial area, as is Koreatown. We do not fit into the cited demographics for ethnicity, density, income or education. So why would the LA Times call us "Koreatown"? Just plain wrong.

It is offensive and divisive to "ghettoize" any area by declaring it the turf of any one ethnicity - fifty-plus years of desegregation should have taught us something about that. "Ethnic pride" and blatant flag-planting in this guise has caused nothing but division, gangs, segregation, grafitti and other primitive tribal problems, city-wide, that we should have all outgrown by now.

Moreover, the push to call as great an area as possible "Koreatown" is being forced by the Korean business lobby for profit - it's all about free advertising for the various local Korean businesses, while it offends and mis-characterizes the amazing residential areas we residents work so hard to defend against creeping commercialization to the east of us. We, as a neighborhood, joined together in volunteering to create, with no city money, a completely grass-roots-initiated historic district (HPOZ) to preserve the area developed in the early teens and twenties (by non-Koreans, incidentally - there was a thriving Jewish community in the earliest days - where is their "town"?) Wilshire Park has done yeoman's work to improve the residents' quality of life, save irreplaceable structures, work with the local police, and support our new school (named for Wilshire Park, NOT Koreatown).

This is the opposite of the ethos in the real Koreatown, east of Western - high density, high advertising, old structures demolished and replaced with massive-density cheaply-built-but-expensive housing, homes ruined by bad remodeling, buried in business signs, heavily dotted with bars, karaoke joints, restaurants, night clubs, spas, and other business which are not welcome , or even allowed by zoning regulations, in Wilshire Park. As a good friend of mone said, "Stand on the corner of Wilshire and Western and look east - that's Koreatown. Then look west - that is NOT Koreatown." We are NOT Koreatown.

My neighborhood is extremely ethnically diverse, and to minimize the accomplishments of the people who live here by inserting them into a lasso of singular ethnicity is not accurate, fair or welcome. Crass and negative. Thanks, LA Times for not seeing the light.

— R. O'Donnell
August 29, 2009 at 3:16 p.m.

The landmarks and hidden treasures in Koreatown are a combination of the old and the new: the Chapman Market, the Ambassador Hotel (now a high school to be opened soon), Southwestern Law building formerly the old Macys building, among others that are part of the old histrorical fabric of this wonderful city we live in and the new Wilshire/ Vermont urban plaza and the 6th St Koreatown Metro Center. I live in Koreatown for over ten years now. I've seen progress of businesses sprouting everywhere around our neighborhood which is a good thing to see 'dynamism' but coupled with high noise level from the bars and nightclubs, dashed with homicide, burglary and suspect loiterers can be a gritty bad thing. Nothing tops the accessibility to other metro regions of LA from where I live.

— Marie Roco
August 22, 2009 at 12:22 p.m.

The Times errs with its latest "Koreatown" western boundary.

It may be convenient for the paper's staff (even though you no doubt have big fancy computers) to agglomerate established neighborhoods that The Times finds confusing or inconvenient. But it is not accurate for The Times to do so.

Wilshire Park, St. Andrews Square, Country Club Heights, and We-Wil (Western to Wilton; Sixth to Third) are established individual communities. All four are part of the "Greater Wilshire" neighborhood -- NOT part of the "Koreatown" neighborhood. This distinction is clearly evidenced on the City's maps of its official neighborhood councils.

The Wilshire Center - Koreatown Neighborhood Council (WCKNC) western boundary is at Western Avenue (with a narrow extension along Wilshire, just between Sixth and Eighth Streets, to Wilton Place). Everything else WEST OF WESTERN, including the four established neighborhoods mentioned above, is part of the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council (GWNC). Check the City's maps.

By the way, "Wilshire Center" -- rather than being viewed by its residents and others as a traditional neighborhood -- has been known as a long-established (pre-"Koreatown") business district designation.

Since the The Times has chosen to be "Mapping LA," The Times ought to be seeking accuracy and local knowledge. (Reporting with feet, rather than fingers, is how some old-time journalists, like the late and lamented newspaper icon, Jack Smith, might describe it.)

As a "local" who has lived in this wonderful, diverse Greater Wilshire community for more than 60 years (never further from Western Avenue than about 10 blocks), I can certify that Western is the better boundary.

Please refine your maps at your next revision. Thanks.

— John H. Welborne
August 20, 2009 at 10:16 a.m.

Koreatown leaves much to be desired. Police chases routinely wake me up at night. There is a bus bench on Western that everyone avoids because a homeless man colonized it and he regularly defecates on the adjacent sidewalk. The city never collects trash from the sidewalk bins. Homeless people go through said bins, leaving garbage to sit on the sidewalks for several days. Young drug addicts take advantage of the cheap rent, hang out on the roofs of apartment buildings, leaving the general populace to weather the broken glass from bottles thrown onto the sidewalk.

Once an apartment building on 5th and Western leaked raw sewage onto the sidewalk. It seeped toward Wilshire and beyond. It could be smelled from the Metro Station. This lasted for three days. Once my apartment building's front door was smashed in. The building is on Western. The broken glass sat in a pile for four days. Anyone from Western had full access.

Regardless of where the "official borders" lie, this neighborhood is the pits. Europeans in squatter villages live in nicer conditions. Albeit Echo Park is slightly rougher than Koreatown, Echo Park has charm and character. Koreatown is...just...filthy...period.

— Dasht-e Kavir
August 18, 2009 at 8:45 p.m.

Your map is way off. I have 90004 as my zip and your boundary is 10 blocks off. Your calculations would be considerably different if you included our area.

— Michele
August 15, 2009 at 5:01 p.m.

I live in Koreatown within three blocks of the corner of Wilshire and Western and love it. Being a New York transplant, the corner feels like home with all the different cultural groups and proximity to everything. While LA's low-slung sprawl is part of its charm, there is a wonderful freedom in being able to walk to everything which is possible in Koreatown. I can walk to Ralph's, 7-11 any number of amazing restaurants and a couple of bars. Sometimes I forget how nice it is living without a car!

— Richard Hayden
August 14, 2009 at 3:57 p.m.

I agree that the zip code 90004 is mismapped as "Koreatown." I live right by Larchmont Blvd on Windsor/Beverly, with a 90004 zip code, and the map does not even include this area. I'd call it "Hollywood."

— Elaine
July 15, 2009 at 2:16 p.m.

I like the way you have included the micro neighborhoods as a subset of the primary neighborhood.

Please include Los Angeles Eco-Village as one of the micro neighborhoods in Koreatown. We are the two block neighborhood of Bimini Place and White House Place, home of the former Bimini Baths which graced the neighborhood from 1901 to 1951. Bimini Place was also the end of the line for the old Red Car Trolley, and the trolley tracks were recently restored. Since 1993, it has been designated as the Los Angeles Eco-Village, a demonstration of sustainable community development and healthy intentional community. The neighborhood is a tourist attraction for visitors from throughout the world interested in ecological, economic and social sustainability. A quick google search of "la eco-village" will suggest how well known the neighborhood is. Thanks for considering.

- Lois Arkin

— Lois Arkin
July 9, 2009 at 8:42 p.m.

Ralph I agree with you the neighborhood is not any where close to what it was.

Robby I lived there in the fifties and as far as I could see there were no Latinos west of Vermont Street. If there was I never saw them. Many Latinos went to Virgil Jr High but lived toward Mac Arther or closer to downtown. At that time all the Blacks that went to Virgil got on a Vermont bus and went south. All Chinese lived in or near China town. The only minority I saw west of Vermont were from the Philippines.

— Richard Hess
July 9, 2009 at 12:55 p.m.

Call The area what every you want I grew up on the 700 block of south Wilton Place I lived there and went to school from the early 60's untill the late 70's Back in those days it was called the Wilshire District. I drive threw there some times now and you can say what you want. The area has gone way down hill since then.

— Ralph
June 30, 2009 at 12:14 a.m.

I live in Wilshire Park (Olympic to Wilshire, Crenshaw to Wilton), which you have mis-mapped as part of Koreatown. Wilshire Park is a new Historic Preservation Overlay Zone, delimited on the Thomas Brothers Guide, recognized by the City of Los Angeles and represented by the Greater Wilshire Neighborhood Council - it is NOT Koreatown. The LA Times has caved to the lobbying of the well organized but minority Korean business community to assist them in their aggressive promotion of Korean businesses. My neighborhood is Hispanic, Black, Jewish, Irish, English, and also Korean, and that's the way I like it, but naming it as an ethnic center is wrong, misleading, divisive and "ghettoizing." According to your own criteria, based on ethnicity alone, the area should be named for Latinos, who not only established it almost 150 years ago, but are currently the highest percentage of the population. The "Ethnic Pride" movement has proved over the decades to be a complete bust - it has created gangs, fostered rivalry and impaired integration. Yet the LA Times sees fit to create more of the same by drawing boundaries that should not exist.

— Robby
June 27, 2009 at 9:51 p.m.

koreatown is pretty cool,there are lots of ethnicities,there is mostly latino,white,and asian

— madison
June 21, 2009 at 9:04 p.m.

Southern California has the largest Korean population in the world outside of the Korean peninsula so it is understandable that Korean Americans view Koreatown LA with pride.

Koreatown represents a microcosm of LA's best:

- it is geographically the center of LA, nestled in between downtown LA, Hollywood, the Westside and South LA

- it has the greatest diversity of people, food and culture

- the Ambassador Hotel, where the Academy Awards were first held, where RFK was assassinated, where Nixon gave his Checkers speech, and where the future flagship school of LA will be situated, is in Koreatown's boundaries

I've always felt that the boundaries would be neat and clean at Beverly, Western, Vermont, and Olympic. Some people like to extend it Hoover or Wilton or Pico or Melrose but that's pushing it.

Regarding St. Andrew's Square, I sympathize with those residents who identify with that name. Everyone should be able to define the identity of where they live. But there should be a balance of self-determination and practicality. It would be inconvenient to recognize every 4-block area for mapping purposes. If you asked 100 Angelenos where St. Andrew's Square is located, 99 wouldn't know. If you asked 100 Angelenos where Koreatown is, I bet about 30 would at least know the general area. This doesn't negate the legitimacy of St. Andrew's Square -- but it does suggest that for mapping purposes, we should stick with the larger neighborhood blocks.

— Kee-yul
June 9, 2009 at 7:31 a.m.

In the 1950s I lived in a house on the block that was Fourth, Harvard, Fifth and Hobart. Very nice well built Craftsman type houses most, that were kept up and landscaped. A few years ago I had an opportunity to drive by that block and to my surprise all the houses were gone and a large apartment building was there. Was that by government decree or did someone make an offer no one could refuse. Does anyone know when these houses were torn down and the apartments built.

— Richard Hess
June 5, 2009 at 4:51 p.m.

I think historically, Koreatown is between Vermont and Western on the east and west; and 3rd and Olympic on the north and south. Granted that Korean businesses have spilled over to other neighboring sections but that doesn't in itself warrant expanding the boundary of Koreatown. As far as concern over "ethnic branding", it is ridiculous... Koreatown was never majority Korean so using that as an argument that your street should be excluded from such designation is kind of like saying there are no movie studios on my street so why is my neighborhood called "Hollywood"? (I'm not saying Henreitta is wrong... in fact she has a pretty good case - her neighborhood is not Koreatown - but I'm just saying that her argument is faulty)

— Irwin
June 4, 2009 at 11:05 a.m.

I agree with Henrietta. We are who we think we are, and should be called who we say we are. Not every neighborhood has an evolved sense of identity, but some do, and that deserves some respect. Saint Andrews Square is not too small to be called a neighborhood.

— Hari Nam
June 3, 2009 at 1:28 p.m.

Extending to Beverly might be a stretch, but stopping at Western is likely not accurate either. The new City Center shopping plaza is owned by Korean American investors and it's located on 6th & Alexandria, the new Madang Courtyard shopping center is going to open and it will be north of Wilshire also.

Culturally, the largely Korean congregation of Oriental Mission Church is actually past Beverly (going north on Western). OMC Church is one of the largest Korean congregation majority churches in Southern California and played a very important role in Korean American community/history for providing spiritual and material (supplies and temporary housing) leadership during the L.A. riots.

— Edward
June 3, 2009 at 12:07 p.m.

The Koreatown boundary, if you must make this map, should stop at Western Avenue, at least between Beverly and 6th. West of Western Ave is a residential district and it makes no sense to characterize this area, which includes St. Andrews Square, as Koreatown, or anything at all, for that matter. I believe on the previous map, the boundary did stop at Western. Western is a commercial street and makes a sensible boundary. Wilton Place is busy street through a residential neighborhood and is an artificial, meaningless, boundary line.

— Ruth Silveira
June 3, 2009 at 11:33 a.m.

I live near and cover "Koreatown" for my work - more realistic boundaries of where Korean people and culture are concentrated would be: west to Western, north to 3rd or Beverly at the most, east to Vermont, and south to about 8th or James M Wood.

— Brian Rosenberg
June 3, 2009 at 11:10 a.m.

Hi Henreitta.

That sounds like pretty much all of Koreatown. Mostly multicultural with about a quarter Korean. If we were to call Koreatown any place in LA with 51% or more Korean than Koreatown would only be the size of six city blocks.

However, there is more to naming than population. There are commerical interests as well. I'd hazzard to guess that although throughout Koreatown Koreans make up only 25-30% of the population, they may contribute 51% or more of tax revenue (via sales taxes and property taxes) and employment.

So, in a fashion, despite only making a quarter of the population on average, it is still "Koreatown."

— Edward
June 3, 2009 at 10:56 a.m.

Koreatown is mis-mapped here. I live in St. Andrews Square (between Beverly and Third, Wilton and Western). Our population is extremely multi-cultural and not more than one-quarter Korean. It is an injustice to the rest of the population to claim this neighborhood as part of Koreatown. The ethnic "branding" of neighborhoods is, in general, misguided and offensive. Cities are living, breathing organisms that change over the decades. Neighborhoods may be named, but they should never be "branded".

— Henreitta Cosentino
June 3, 2009 at 5:38 a.m.

Koreatown

is a neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles in the Central L.A. region of Los Angeles County. It contains Park Mile, Wilshire Center and Wilshire Park.
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Koreatown is one of the 272 neighborhoods in Mapping L.A., The Times’ resource for crime, neighborhoods, demographics and schools.
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