DTLA Seafood District Refashions Itself

In the past year, the seafood district of Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) got a PR boost from some local seafood company owners and artists. Below is the vision they have set forth.

During the 1920’s, a relatively unknown, approximately twenty-acre northern section in the sprawling Los Angeles Industrial District was home to a concentrated number of businesses with names like American Fish, Holly Seafood and Central Fish & Oyster Company.  With mottos like “If it swims, we have it!”, many of these family-operated companies were owned by Japanese, Italian and Irish immigrants who specialized in commercial fishing, processing, distribution and cross-pacific imports. Their smokehouses and cold storage facilities provided to local restaurants, hotels, airports, grocery stores, and civic institutions throughout Southern California.

In the late 1970’s, economic migration pushed the greater Industrial District near the brink of urban decay. Yet, dozens of these original seafood businesses remained and continued to operate, only hidden behind secure walls and fences. Sadly, their colorful, oceanic history faded while façades and sidewalks gradually fell into various states of disrepair.

In 2017, a close group of neighbors, including a handful of the 100 year-old seafood companies still owned by the original founders’ families, has come together to reclaim our neighborhood’s lost identity as “The North Sea.” We have launched a self-funded, beautification program involving thematic murals, sidewalk landscaping, a variety of sculptural interventions, and lots and lots of elbow grease. Our mission is to restore a sense of place and community pride. We hope you enjoy our results. Please come visit us soon. [excerpted from http://www.northseadtla.net/]

Over the past 24 years, we have leased and sold many buildings for the seafood industry on DTLA streets such as Kohler, Gladys, Alameda, Ceres, Crocker, Stanford and 5th. Although the areas is encompassed by Skid Row, the merchants do their business despite all the indigents and their filth.

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