Thursday, April 20, 2017

L.A. seeks to save Asian/American's historically significant sites.

Photograph: Wapacman at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
This monument for L.A.'s Filipinotown could be listed as a historic site of significance.

WITH ASIAN AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH  just a few weeks away, Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources has launched an initiative that could help preserve the history of the city's Asian/Americans.

The OHR is working on a historic context document that will identify sites of importance to Filipino-American, Chinese-American, Japanese-American and Thai-American groups, all of whom are currently underrepresented among official historical and cultural landmarks. 

To help fill that gap, the OHR was recently given a $72,000 grant by the National Park Service to fund the research. 
At the meeting of the Filipino/American community - held at the Edendale Branch Library, near historic Filipinotown - city officials explained their hope that community members would  help them identify the business, religious institutions, residences and other physical landmarks that should be nominated for preservation.
“I don’t think many people realize how impactful Filipinos were and are in Los Angeles, and it’s nice to see [the city] make some kind of account of our history here,” community member Ronald Bonilla told the Asian Journal

One of the City of Angel's original founders is Antonio Miranda Rodriguez, who was born in Sonora, Mexico and whose father is a "Manila Man."

Los Angeles is home to the largest Filipino population outside of the Philippines, and now that influence on local culture is being recognized as part of a city program to create an archive of things that are historically significant to the Filipino-American community in L.A. as well as other Asian-American groups in the city.
Identifying these landmarks for preservation now is particularly important to many activists because they’re concerned that, as gentrification continues to push through the city, the physical landmarks of immigrant communities may make way for high-end residences or shopping enclaves.
After the Asian/American historic context document is complete, OHR will work with all the communities to capture and preserve locations important to the themes of civil rights, labor history, segregation and cultural development.

While the meetings have already been held with the Chinese/American, Filipino/American and Thai/American communities, there are still opportunities to provide input or gather more information. The remaining meetings include:

Korean American Historic Context meeting - April 22
Japanese American Historic Context meeting - May 6