Korean American National Museum unveils design

December 20, 2013

Board members Hong Myung Ki, David Lee, and Kwon Jung-ja pledge 500K each 

This is what the Korean American National Museum will look like.

A artist’s rendering of the proposed Korean American National Museum.


The Korean American national Museum will be built on the southwest corner of Vermont and the Sixth Avenues. (Park Sang-hyuk)

The Korean American National Museum will be built on a lot at the southwest corner of Vermont and Sixth Avenues. (Photo by Park Sang-hyuk)

By Kim Hyung-jae

Plans to build the Korean American National Museum (KANM) officially got off the ground with an unveiling of the structural design and a $1.5 million pledge from three of its board members – Hong Myung Ki, David Lee, and Kwon Jung Ja.

The estimated six million dollar project’s mission is “to interpret, preserve, and widely promote the history, experiences, culture and achievements of Americans of Korean ancestry, and the excellence of Korean culture.”

To pave the way, three of its board members pledged $500,000 each, in hopes of attracting support from the Korean community and businesses, and the government of Korea.

KANM board of directors have also decided on a traditional Korean architectural design for the structure, and named Dr. Hong of the Bright World Foundation as the chairman to push the plan through.

They will launch a fundraising campaign at the beginning of the New Year.

“The Korean American community has a 111-year history, yet there’s no true landmark that identifies us – our heritage and culture. Especially those first to third generation Koreans need to take more pride and take it upon themselves to educate future generation of Koreans. KAMN is absolutely necessary,” Dr. Hong said. He went on to add that it’s an opportunity for Korean Americans to let other communities know about the 5,000-year history of Korea and its 111-years of immigration success.

The museum, to be built on the southwest lot of Vermont and the Sixth Avenues (601 S. Vermont.) will have semi-clear outer walls. The organizers believe the structure will not only show off the beauty of traditional Korean architecture, but will also improve the atmosphere of surrounding areas.

The museum’s rooftop will be one of the main attractions, as the roof itself will have a traditional Korean look, but will also feature a madang (yard), garden, and an arbor in order to become a featured landmark of the Korean community. The 24,517 square feet property will also be equipped with an exhibition hall, a seminar hall, a community auditorium, a study room, and a film room on first and second floors, as well as an underground parking facility with 44 stalls.

One official said, “The model selected is representative of the Korean community’s past, present, and future. We believe it’s a good mixture of traditional Korean structures, gardens, madang (yard), and modern architecture.”