Korean Friendship Bell
The Korean Friendship Bell is located in nearby San Pedro at 3601 South Gaffey St. You’ll easily spot the huge bronze bell as you approach the Angel’s Gate Park pavilion on 37th and Gaffey. It’s a section of the park referred to as “Korean-American Peace Park” and is where the Upper Reservation of Fort MacArthur used to stand. South Korea presented the gift to the United States to symbolize the friendship between the two countries. It was dedicated as the 187th Historic-Cultural Monument in the city in 1976.
The bell gives a nod to King Seongdeok the Great of Silla’s Divine Bell which was cast for the Bongdeok Temple in 771. That bell is held in the National Museum of Gyeongju in South Korea. It is the biggest bell ever created in Korean history, and both bells claim the status as two of the largest around the globe. The Los Angeles monument boasts 17 tons of tin and copper, alloyed with gold, lead, nickel and phosphorous for better tone.
Putting a Ring On It
The Bell measures 7.5 feet in diameter and averages 8 inches of thickness. Standing 12 feet high, the surface is decorated with four figures. Each figure features an homage to the “Goddess of Liberty,” similar to the Statue of Liberty, as well as a Korean spirit figure.
Since 2010, the bell rings only five times a year on major holidays, which includes the upcoming Korean Liberation Day on August 15. There is no clapper—it’s rang with a wooden log. The bell is in the Belfry of Friendship, built by South Korean craftsmen. It took ten months to build the traditional belfry with its hipped roof. Lana Del Rey has used the location in music videos, and it’s a treat for all visitors.