Monterey Park – A Chinese Beverly Hills


If you are Asian, and live in the 626, then you should know all about Monterey Park, and the incredible selection of shops and restaurants there. But do you know the history behind it?

In 1965, when the Hart–Celler Act was passed, quotas on immigration was removed. Many Asians immigrated to the United States because of this act.

For this specific blog post, I want to focus on the Chinese, because the majority of Asians living in Monterey Park are Chinese.

In the 1970s, due to the Hart-Celler Act, many ethnic enclaves such as Chinatown were being filled up fast. Almost too fast.

One real estate developer named Fred Hsieh saw this growing problem, and wanted to build a community where these new Chinese immigrants could live in peace. Fred Hsieh turned to Monterey Park, CA.

At that time, Monterey Park, CA was predominantly a white and latino suburb. Monterey Park was actually founded in 1916 as “Ramona Acres,” exemplifying the love for all things Ramona at the time.

With vigorous advertisements, such as declaring it as the “Chinese Beverly Hills,” many Chinese from overseas and Chinese residing in the United States had their interests piqued. It also helped that, at the time, the area code for Monterey Park was “818.” As you may know, many Chinese consider the number “8” to be a lucky number.

As more and more Chinese were moving in, the community grew.

As a matter of fact, at one point, it was the only city in the United States with a predominant Asian population.


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