China Town Essay

Submitted By kerencustodio
Words: 1098
Pages: 5

China Town

Keren Custodio

Professor Glessner
History of California
November 24, 2012

China Town in Los Angeles has been a popular place for tourists from all over the world for many years now. From the small intriguing shops to the delicious restaurants filled with authentic Chinese food to the landmarks filled with so much historical significance there is so much to see and do in this area located in the downtown of Los Angeles. China Town was relocated to where it is now in the down town area of Los Angeles in 1938, to be exact, today New China Town is located on Broadway and Ord Street. “June 25, 1938, California's Governor Merriam and a host of dignitaries dedicated Los Angeles Chinatown's Central Plaza in a gala Grand Opening ceremony.” New China town was a place for Chinese Americans to begin a community. Its relocation was a result of issues with ownership, immigration, and decline in business. Most of the residents of Old China Town were immigrants and thus weren’t able to own their own properties. They were dependent of their land- lords to improve and maintain the buildings where their shops and restaurants were located. However, this never happened and the Chinese resident’s hopes were let down and soon they lost interest and simply stopped caring about the improvement of their businesses, streets, etc. What was the hay on the camels back for the relocation of China Town was a three- way litigation suit. There was a disagreement with the City of Los Angeles and The Apablasa family over ownership of China Town streets. On December 12, 1913 the suits were dropped and six acres of Old China Town Property were sold. Over time people began to discuss the placement of a railroad terminal in the place of Old China Town because of its convenient location. Finally in May 19, 1913, the court approved construction of the Union Station in the location where Old China Town was found. Two years passed by until finally the Chinese found an acceptable place to relocate China Town which was approved by the city. And thus China Town relocated and that is what now is known as New China Town. During the time in which China Town was first founded in the 1800’s there was a lot of Chinese immigration. There was a huge “flood” of Chinese immigrants, especially in the mid 1800’s due to the California Gold Rush. Chinese settlement in Los Angeles began around the 1850’s. For the next twenty years or so settlement continue and in the 1870’s about two- hundred Chinese had already settled in La Calle de Los Negros in Los Angeles and this began China Town. Despite this surge of Chinese immigrants there was a down- fall in their population. The Chinese Exclusion Act played a huge role in this down- fall. The Chinese Exclusion Act suspended Chinese immigration and thousands of Chinese started to return back to China. Around the mid 1800’s American’s attitudes toward the Chinese immigrants began to become hostile. Because of the gold rush most of the jobs held by the Chinese immigrants revolved around the gold rush. Chinese immigrants began to live in poor areas and most of the time they formed of communities with in themselves. Eventually the population in these communities began to grown and thus “Chinatowns” began to form. “Chinese clustered into groups, working hard and living frugally. As the populations of these groups increased, they formed large cities of ethnic enclaves called "Chinatowns" all over the country.” When these little cities first began in the 1800’s they were impoverished slums, filled with violence and drugs. Over time they became lively tourist attractions by the 1900’s, which is the sort of China Town we know today. These communities of Chinese laborers began because of a surge of immigration from China to the United States in search for the California Dream. With hopes of finding prosperity and wealth in the California Gold Rush, Chinese began to come to California. China