PST Review: Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles, 1945-1980.


Location: Chinese American Museum

What to expect: In the last remaining building of old Chinatown is the exhibition Breaking Ground. The small museum features four different exhibitions spread across the first and second floor.

When entering the museum, make a right and you will find the first part of the exhibition. Here you will see video interviews with different architects. In the same room, you can create a custom home by using a sliding plastic panel.

On booth floors there are drawings and pictures of buildings and structures, both interiors and exteriors. These are buildings created by Chinese American architects who helped shape Los Angeles’ urban and visual landscape between 1945 and 1980. One of the buildings you will surely recognize is LAX.

Eugene K. Choy, Gilbert Leong, Helen Liu Fong, and Gin Wong are the four architects portrayed in this exhibition. Their design sense idealized minimalism and functionality.

At the end of the room on the second floor, you will find 3D views of different restaurants.

And while you’re there: Check out Albert Lew and the herb shop, which is recreated to look like it did in the 1890s on the museum’s first floor. Lew came to the United States as a thirteen-year-old boy to support his family in China. The second Wednesday of every month you are able to meet him in person.

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