LA’s Koreatown is Getting a Stunning $32 Million Korean American National Museum

A new museum celebrating the Korean American heritage is set to start construction next year in Los Angeles’ Koreatown.

Scheduled to be built by early 2022, the Korean American National Museum will be situated on the corner of Vermont and Sixth Street, a property currently being utilized by the Department of Transportation as a 57-space parking lot.

A new museum celebrating the Korean American heritage is set to start construction next year in L.A.’s Koreatown.

It was announced during a news conference on Wednesday that $4 million in state funding has been secured for the creation of the first-of-its-kind museum. The funding was made possible through the efforts of LA politicians such as Assemblyman Miguel Santiago and state senators Holly Mitchell and Maria Elena Durazo, LAist reports.

“A lot of first-generation Koreans who came over [to the U.S.] in the late ’60s and ’70s are now in their eighties,” the project’s Executive director Shinae Yoon was quoted as saying. “We wanted to build something that was a legacy institution, not just for the people who came over but for future generations.”

A new museum celebrating the Korean American heritage is set to start construction next year in L.A.’s Koreatown.

So far the museum’s organizers have generated $15 million in funding, out of the $32 million needed to complete the project.

According to Yoon, part of the budget will be used to purchase the land from the city after the 10-year lease is up with a plan to expand the museum by converting some of the underground parking.

View this post on Instagram

We’re very proud to share the design of the Korean American National Museum, one of the first museums centered on the Korean American community and heritage. Our project team + the museum board, community members, and State Assembly and Los Angeles City Councilmembers—Senator Holly Mitchell, Senator Maria Elena Durazo, Assemblymembers Miguel Santiago and Sharon Quirk-Silva, City Councilmember David Ryu and City Council President Herb Wesson–came together today at the future project site in the heart of Koreatown to celebrate $4M in funding from the State of California.⁣ ⁣ #morphosisarchitects #morphosis #thommayne #euisungyi #koreanamericannationalmuseum #koreanamerican #koreatown #ktown #LosAngeles #museum #museumdesign #LAArch #CurbedLA #LAArchitecture #california #LosAngelesArchitecture #한미박물관 #모포시스 #박물관 #뮤지엄 #겔러리 #캘리포니아 #엘에이 #코리아타운 #미주한인 #엘에이건축 #문화유산 #탐메인 #이의성

A post shared by Morphosis Architects (@morphosisarchitects) on

During the announcement, Los Angeles-based Morphosis Architects also unveiled the building’s architectural models and renderings that depict a spacious, 17,000-square-foot structure. Based on the images revealed, the building’s overall design combines elements of traditional Korean architecture with modern features.

A new museum celebrating the Korean American heritage is set to start construction next year in L.A.’s Koreatown.

The museum will feature a two-story building surrounding a traditional Korean Hanok, an open courtyard. The building’s exterior will have a patterned façade that also features a traditional Korean motif. While the top will include a terrace and sculptural roof garden featuring plants native in California and other species common in Korea.

“We thought about bringing over a piece of Korea, so to speak, a symbolic piece of Korea into L.A. and planting it with a primarily Korean landscape. But in the spirit of the Korean-American combination and in the spirit of the diaspora, and so actually also mix it with local plants in the idea that we’re both mixing Korea and LA,”  said Eui-Sung Yi, the project’s principal planner/partner at Morphosis.

A new museum celebrating the Korean American heritage is set to start construction next year in L.A.’s Koreatown.

Morphosis noted that their concept for the museum is “a lifted, displaced landscape — a piece of Korea grafted onto Los Angeles — containing the museum within,” which was based on Korean American architect Eulho Suh’s idea of “displaced memory.”

Once built, the museum will be among other institutions in LA dedicated to chronicling the experience of Asian Americans, including the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo and the Chinese American Museum downtown.

Featured Image via Instagram / morphosisarchitects

Support our Journalism with a Contribution

Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.

Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.

However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.

We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.

NextShark is a leading source covering Asian American News and Asian News including business, culture, entertainment, politics, tech and lifestyle.

For advertising and inquiries: info@nextshark.com