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OHR's Asian American Initiatives Added to National Register

Two complementary initiatives spearheaded by the OHR related to Los Angeles' Asian American heritage have now received listing in the National Register of Historic Places. 

 SurveyLA’s Asian Americans in Los Angeles Historic Contexts, released by the OHR in 2018, established a framework to guide the identification and designation of places significant to Los Angeles’ Japanese American, Chinese American, Korean American, Filipino American and Thai American communities.  These contexts were funded by an Underrepresented Communities Grant from the National Park Service. 

The OHR, assisted by a team of consultants led by Architectural Resources Group (ARG), compiled these five contexts into a National Register Multiple Property Documentation Form, to streamline the submission of future National Register nominations for resources associated with Asian American heritage.  This multiple property submission received final approval for National Register status in January 2019.

Few sites associated with AAPI history and cultures have been officially recognized and designated under local, state, or federal programs. The Asian Americans in Los Angeles historic contexts were developed by the OHR in partnership with Asian American community leaders, telling the layered stories of Asian American and Pacific Islanders as an integral part of the history, culture, and politics of Los Angeles. 

The OHR's scope of work for the National Park Service grant also included the submission of a single Los Angeles site for National Register listing. With input from the project's advisory committee, Filipino Christian Church (now known as Filipino Disciples Christian Church) at 301 N. Union Avenue, in Historic Filipinotown was selected to be nominated.  The Church's National Register listing was also approved in January.

The Church, also designated as City Historic-Cultural Monument #651, is the oldest Filipino American church in Los Angeles and has served as an important social and cultural center of the Filipino American community. The history of the church and its predecessor organization dates back to the first wave of Filipino immigration to Los Angeles, and its story largely parallels that of Filipino Americans in the greater Los Angeles region. Constructed in 1909 for the Union Avenue M.E. Church, the Craftsman style building with Late Gothic Revival influences was acquired by the Filipino Christian Church in 1950.

 

 

Filipino Christian Church Alumni Homecoming, 1951 (Photo courtesy of LAPL "Shades of LA" Project)