If Koreatown epitomizes cultural hybridization — the layering of cultures over time — nothing epitomizes Koreatown like the Chapman Market buildings. They are anchored by a pair of stately, matching stone edifices, almost fortresslike in their solidity despite the picture windows lining the tres chic clothing shops on Eighth Street. Chapman Market was built in 1929 to house the world's first drive-thru, with vehicular access from the side streets to a fanciful drive-in courtyard in back, where today resides another row of shops and restaurants. The two-level main buildings house grandiose second-floor Korean restaurant-lounges that feel like a Euro-castle dream fused with an upscale Pacific Rim Blade Runner hallucination. Interestingly, the same Chapman brothers also donated the money for the imposing 1911 Wilshire Christian Church, the first such religious edifice on Wilshire. North side of West Sixth St. between Kenmore and Mariposa, Koreatown.

—Adam Gropman

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