[TIMEINE] L.A.'s "China City" Opens on June 7, 1938
- New Chinatown opens its gates
June 7, 1938: A tourist attraction called China City opened on Ord
Street between Main and Spring streets, drawing 10,000 visitors on
its first day.
"The little shops are filled with art objects and steaming foods.
There is a bamboo theater," The Times said on opening day. "A temple
in which peanut oil burns in silver lotus flowers before the Goddess
Quan Yin is fragrant with incense wafted against the silver and gold
embroidery on the walls."
China City featured winding cobblestone streets, art galleries and
The site was dreamed up by civic activist Christine Sterling, the
founder of Olvera Street, after construction of Union Station pushed
out Chinatown residents and shopkeepers.
The Main Street gate was dedicated to the late Times reporter and
columnist Harry Carr. "He would have enjoyed watching every little
store going into place. Chinatown was one of his adventure lands,"
The Times said.
New Chinatown and China City open in Los Angeles. Chinese
populations in Los Angeles districts of City Market, East Adams, and
Spring Street near China City, increase due to destruction of Old
Chinatown site to make room for construction of Union Station.