There are two possible answers. Chinatown was officially dedicated by the Los Angeles mayor in 1938. This “New Chinatown” was the first of modern Chinatowns across the country. In 1870, about 200 or so Chinese immigrants lived in one area of Los Angeles, making it the original Chinatown. Around 1890, Chinatown had grown into a 15-street neighborhood with more than 200 buildings. By the 1910’s things were getting rough for Chinatown residents, in part because immigrants were not allowed to own property and were not treated firly by landlords. By the time of the Great Depression, it was necessary for Chinatown to relocate to become the central hub of Chinese activity in LA.
The history of Chinatown in LA is an interesting one. The beginning of Chinese immigration to California started in 1848 with the gold rush. Many people from all across the globe came to seek fortune there, including the Chinese. Eleven years later the first Chinese woman immigrated to the US. In 1909 the City Market Wholesale Produce Terminal was started in what is now downtown LA. On June 25th, 1938, the “new” Chinatown was established and dedicated by the Governor and the old market was destroyed to make room to build the union station.
To read more about the timeline of Chinese immigration and establishing chinatown see the websites cited below.
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