Impact of the Rodney King Riot on the Built Environment

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This the third part of a week of programs on the violence, causes and aftermath of the Rodney King riots that devastated so much of Los Angeles 20 years ago. More than 50 people were killed, thousands were injured. Estimates of property damage were in excess of $1 billion. Today, we learn how some architects and designers responded to the "deep sense of evil" and "license for disobedience" they felt after the violence was over.  We focus on efforts to reconstruct South LA, the dramatic transformation of Koreatown and how devastation led to inspiration. (For additional KCRW coverage of the 1992 riots, go to

Banner image: Koreatown, from Olympic Boulevard, looking east towards downtown. Photo by Kenneth Han



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton