Koreatown is a model for the future of Los Angeles: dense, transit-accessible, and highly diverse. But it's hard to say just where the neighborhood's center of gravity is—the district lacks a signature site or thoroughfare on par with Seventh Street in Downtown, Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, or Abbot Kinney in Venice. But that's set to change soon with construction of a pair of new, pedestrian-friendly landmarks. The Olympic Gateway at Olympic and Normandie will welcome visitors to one of the city's most exciting 'hoods, while another Normandie intersection will be closed to make way for a public park.
The Olympic Gateway landmark will be a whiz-bang web of lights strung between the southwest, northwest, and northeast corners of the Olympic/Normandie intersection, making trips to Guelaguetza that much more thrilling.
But the big move comes with the Madang project. The intersection of Normandie and Irolo will be permanently closed to make way for the park, which will "[showcase] traditional Korean beauty in nature," according the The Korean Times.
These two projects should slot in nicely with the Seoul International Park and the park-adjacent Koreatown Senior Center and Pavilion, creating a recognizable center for the district. Visitors will have an easy, compact block they can walk around, with a beautiful heart in which to chill. Now all they need is a Tom-n-Toms.
Funds for the projects come from the now defunct Community Redevelopment Agency—the money was awarded close to two years ago, but designs have just recently been completed. The Korea American Chamber of Commerce is working with the Los Angeles Neighborhood Initiative to get construction permits from the city, at which point a contractor will be found. Assuming everything goes according to plan, work should begin this coming May. —Ian Grant
· K-Town landmarks hope to begin summer construction [KT]
· Koreatown Archives [Curbed LA]