The Cornfields and Chinatown

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Chinatown as LA now knows it was created back in the 1930's, when the Chinese community was re-located to make way for Union Station. The population now is 42% Asian, 47% Hispanic and 17% African-American. The neighborhood is in desperate need of parks, schools and employment. Now, a major confrontation is brewing over what to do with the so-called "Cornfield"-almost 50 acres of former industrial land that is Chinatown's next door neighbor. City Hall has blessed a plan by the Cornfield's owner for a complex of warehouses on the site. But community groups, environmentalists and civil rights leaders have a different vision: schools, homes, parks and small businesses along a meandering, rehabilitated Los Angeles River. The battle's about to come to a head, and the outcome will help shape the future of downtown LA.



Warren Olney


Frances Anderton