Start watching
Tending Nature poster 2021

Tending Nature

Start watching

Southland Sessions

Start watching

Earth Focus

Start watching

Reporter Roundup

Start watching

City Rising

Start watching

Lost LA

Start watching
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Learn about the many ways to support KCET.
Support Icon
Contact our Leadership, Advancement and Special Events teams.

Photos: New Chinatown & Union Station


Los Angeles underwent tremendous growth early in the twentieth century, as new water sources helped the city expand, the film industry made its definitive move away from New York to sunny Los Angeles, and businesses in oil and shipping prospered locally. It was time for Los Angeles to build a top-notch train terminal, Union Station, and the decision was made to build right where Old Chinatown had stood from 1870 until the 1930's. In the same ways Latinos would later be displaced from Sonora Town and the Chavez Ravine during the construction of Dodger Stadium in the 1950s, Chinese Americans were displaced in the 1930's, "buried" so to speak under one of L.A.'s most iconic buildings, sometimes called the "last of the great railway stations."

Some Chinese American leaders saw the move to New Chinatown as an opportunity to plan a better community, one with improved housing options and better access to stores and businesses. Interviews here with Peter SooHoo and Munson A. Kwok document this optimism for New Chinatown. Still, it is clear that many people today in Los Angeles do not realize the history of this vast relocation imposed upon the same Chinese American population that the city had segregated into the area of Old Chinatown. Today, most people recognize El Pueblo de Los Angeles, located just across the street from Union Station, as the bedrock of our ties to Spanish and Mexican settlers, but the Chinese American Museum stands here as well as the last remaining building of Old Chinatown.

Support Provided By
Support Provided By
Read More
Ed Fuentes, artwork Colette Miller (preview)

In Remembrance of Arts Journalist and Advocate Ed Fuentes

Collaborator and friend James Daichendt remembers Ed Fuentes, a longtime advocate of the arts, who passed away this week.

The San Gabriels: The Remarkable History of L.A.'s Threatened National Monument

An exploration of the rich history and culture of the San Gabriel Mountains and its eponymous river.
Boyle Heights Street Vending. Credits: Feng Yuan

Is Los Angeles Finally Legalizing Street Vending?

Trend-setting entrepreneurs versus “illegal” street vendors is a confusing dichotomy that has become the center of many conversations.