Sonoratown: Downtown L.A.'s Forgotten Neighborhood

Ethnic enclaves have long staked out the area immediately north of Los Angeles' historic plaza, one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Now known as Chinatown, the district has attracted successive waves of immigrants, many of them barred from newer neighborhoods by racial hostility and later racially restrictive covenants. A Little Italy once took root there. But among the neighborhood's first immigrant residents were new arrivals from the north of Mexico. From the 1850s until the early twentieth century, the area now known as Chinatown was home to L.A.'s first barrio: Sonoratown.

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