According to new information from the Los Angeles Department of City Planning, a proposed development which would house the Korean American National Museum (KANM) has received a design overhaul.
Revised plans for the half-acre property at 605 South Vermont Avenue call for a seven-story structure featuring 101 apartments above two floors of museum space. An earlier report from New America Media indicated that the museum would encompass 45,000 square feet of floor area, with amenities such as a community auditorium, two exhibition halls and a study room. However, the exact nature of the proposed changes to KANM are currently unclear. The original plan for the museum had called for a standalone three-story facility.
More definitively, city records indicate that KANM is planning for a three-level garage with parking accommodations for up to 146 vehicles and 83 bicycles. The proposed garage would offer slightly less parking than required by code, and will thus require a discretionary approval from the city.
Founded in 1991, KANM engages in programming tailored to support and preserve Korean American culture and history. Past events sponsored by KANM include a photographic history of Koreatown and an exhibition for Korean American contemporary art.
Despite these successes, the museum has encountered more than its fair share of obstacles during its quarter-century existence. In addition to various internal rifts and budget shortfalls, KANM has been forced to relocate nearly a half-dozen times since the year 2000. Consequently, finding a permanent home for the peripatetic museum became a priority for many community stakeholders. Their efforts finally bore fruit in 2012, when Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson helped secure the city-owned parking lot at Sixth Street and Vermont Avenue for a dedicated facility.
- Korean American National Museum (Official Website)
- Case Information Summary Sheet: ZA-2015-539-ZV-ZAA-DD-SPR (LADCP)
- In Koreatown, Building a Museum of Our Own (New American Media)