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Celebrating Asian American Historic and Cultural Contributions in L.A. at Community Symposium

Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP) and the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources host “Asian Americans in Los Angeles Historic Contexts Community Symposium” on Saturday, Oct. 6, from 8:45 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the historic Filipino Christian Church, 301 N. Union Ave. in Historic Filipinotown.

This public event highlights the historic contributions of Asian Americans in Los Angeles. Community leaders and preservationists will highlight historic and cultural contributions as documented in SurveyLA’s Asian Americans in Los Angeles historic contexts.

Historic and cultural preservation are important for Asians Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) seeking to safeguard important historic places, preserve unique cultural practices, and receive official recognition of their civic contributions. However, few sites associated with AAPI history and cultures have been recognized under local, state, and federal designation programs.

The Asian Americans in Los Angeles historic contexts were developed by the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources in partnership with Asian American community leaders. They tell the layered stories of Asian American and Pacific Islanders as an integral part of the history, culture, and politics of Los Angeles.

This Community Symposium will bring together scholars, preservationists, students, and the AAPI community to learn how they can recommend possible AAPI historic sites for recognition and suggest ways to incorporate AAPI history into historic preservation efforts. Former California state assemblymember and long-time community activist Warren Furutani will be a featured speaker and Los Angeles City Councilmember David Ryu will provide remarks.

This symposium aims to engage the public to become more involved in the identification, preservation, and interpretation of historically significant sites and figures as well as in the creation of new historic markers and landmarks.

With the support of an Underrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service (NPS), the City of Los Angeles Office of Historic Resources established the historic contexts to guide the identification and designation of sites significant to Asian American communities of Los Angeles. Geographically, the contexts cover the history and development of five Los Angeles neighborhoods that have been designated as “Preserve America” communities – Little Tokyo, Thai Town, Historic Filipinotown, Koreatown, and Chinatown – but also focus on other areas of the city where these groups settled over time.

Historic contexts help in identifying and nominating properties or places that are important in shaping the city’s architectural and cultural landscape. The five contexts were developed with input from a diverse advisory committee, convened by the Office of Historic Resources, and a team of historic resources consultants led by Architectural Resources Group.

The contexts developed through this project resulted in the National Register of Historic Places Multiple Property Documentation Form (MPDF) titled “Asian Americans in Los Angeles, 1850-1980.” The MPDF is accompanied by an individual National Register nomination for Filipino Christian Church. Both documents will be heard by the State Historical Resources Commission at its next quarterly meeting to be held on Friday, Oct. 26, at Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1010. For more information, visit:

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