In 1931, the California Supreme Court upheld a decision which condemned the land where Los Angeles’ “Old Chinatown” stood in order to construct a public transit terminal in its place. It was in this moment that Union Station was born. Over the next several years, over three thousand residents of Old Chinatown – most of whom were Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans – were forcibly removed from their homes. The businesses and cultural landmarks that these residents called home were razed in the name of infrastructural improvement and modernity. This created image highlights the literal erasure of non-white residents from the city’s central Plaza.
[LEFT] Union Station, c. 2017 Photo courtesy of Union Station Los Angeles.
[RIGHT] The Framework for Union Station’s Clocktower Looms Over Los Angeles’ Old Chinatown, 1937. Photo Courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.
Narrow, Stephanie. 2018. Union Station/Old Chinatown. University of California, Irvine. Photograph.