AHN Family House

The Ahn Family House is located on 34th Street on the USC campus and houses the USC Korean Studies Institute


The Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Family House, once a home to the family of revered Korean independence leader Dosan Ahn Chang Ho (1878-1938), is a unique and significant part of the University of Southern California's campus. A Korean educator, social activist, political organizer and a leader of the Korean independence movement, Dosan was one of the first figures of his time to espouse an ideology of self-reliance and independence for Korea.


Dosan Ahn Chang Ho and his wife Helen (1884-1969) immigrated to the U.S. in 1902, living first in San Francisco, then moving to Riverside and finally moving to Los Angeles in 1914. The Ahns had lived in three other houses before moving to the house on the USC campus, including the Ahn Family house at 106 North Figueroa. While Dosan was traveling the world garnering financial and political support to fight against Japan's colonial rule in Korea, the Ahn family was living in Los Angeles on what is now the USC campus. Though Dosan himself did not live at the house, it retains great historical significance because of its historical function in Los Angeles. While Helen Ahn resided in the house and raised the five Ahn children from the 1930s to the 1950s, the Ahn home served as an important gathering place for many Korean-Americans backing the Korean independence movement.

In 1932, the Japanese arrested Dosan in Shanghai, China, accusing him of a bombing incident in which he was not involved. He was taken to a prison and later died in a hospital due to complications from being imprisioned and tortured by the Japanese.


Although the house originally rested beyond the borders of USC, campus expansion eventually included it on USC's grounds. With USC's grounds bordering on an expanding Korean neighborhood, the house was significant both to that community and to USC.

The USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences committed to the renovation and relocation of the Dosan Ahn Chang Ho Family House in order to make it the permanent home of the Korean Studies Institute. In summer 2004, preservation brought the house from its original location on Downey Way to 34th street. The new location is the United University Church, which holds significance as the location of Dosan Ahn Chang Ho's memorial service. In addition to providing a gathering place for faculty, students, and scholars, the two-story, 2,000 square-foot house is home to the USC Dornsife College Korean Studies Institute as well as displays of calligraphy, pictures and reproductions of other archival materials donated by the Ahn family.

The interior renovation was completed on November 11, 2004. The new space was dedicated on March 29, 2006, and became a gathering place for USC's thriving Korean studies community.

Please also visit the USC Korean Heritage Library site for more information.





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