The name Gwanak first appeared as a name for an administrative unit of Seoul City in Civil Ordinance No, 1172 announced on November 21, 1962. Upon the expansion of administrative districts in Seoul from January 1, 1963, Siheung-ri, Doksan-ri, Garibong-ri, and Bongcheon-ri of Dong-myeon, Siheung-gun, Gyeonggi-do Province were incorporated into Yeongdeungpo-gu District. For the administrative processing of the newly-incorporated areas, a field office called “Gwanak Branch Office” was implemented, which is considered to be the origin of the name “Gwanak.”However, the name Gwanak as Korea’s local administrative unit appeared in Presidential Decree No. 6548that was published on March 12, 1973. On July 1 of the same year, the currentGwanak-gu, as well as part of Dongjak-gu and Seocho-gu, was separated fromYeongdeungpo-gu, and it was renamed as “Gwanak-gu, Seoul City.”
As of today, the oldest document aboutthe Gwanak-gu area is『Samguk Sagi (The Chronicles of the Three States)』. According to the record, Bongcheon-dong and Sillim-dong of Gwanak-guDistrict were called “Inbeolno” during theGoguryeo period, and then it was renamed as Gogyanghyeon during the reign of King Gyeongdeok of Silla(745-762) which was after the unification of Silla. During theGoryeo dynasty, it was called Geumju.
Gwanak-gu was newly established on July 1, 1973 after it was separated fromYeongdeungpo-gu. Today’sGwanak-gu area used to be part of Habuk-myeon, Gwacheon-gun and Dong-myeon, Siheung-gun, Gyeonggi-do for 500 years during the Joseon Dynasty. However, due to a rapid population increase in Seoul City during the 1960s,a drastic revision of administrative districts was needed to disperse the population, increase the efficiency of administration and normalize the comprehensive development of industries. In accordance of the implementation of Civil Ordinance No. 1172 titled 『The law on the change of administrative districts in Seoul City』 on November 21, 1962, administrative districts of Seoul City were expanded, and the current Gwanak-gu area was incorporated into Yeongdeungpo-gu, and the Gwanak Branch Office took charge of the administration of the area.
Then, the Gwanak Branch Office which was in charge of the administration ofGwanak-gu area was abolished on January 1, 1968in accordance with Seoul City Ordinance No. 491, and it was incorporated intoYeongdeungpo-gu District. Later, when population in the area exploded, and the disparity between areas become serious, Gwanak-gu was separated from Yeongdeungpo-gu and established as an independent district on July 1, 1973 in accordance with Presidential Decree No. 6548 (announced on March 12, 1973).
At that time,areas which were incorporated into Gwanak-gu included: 9 dong’s (Noryangjin-dong, Bon-dong, Sangdo-dong) in Dongjak-du and 5 dong’s (Bangbae-dong, Seocho-dong, Banpo-dong, Jamwon-dong, Yangjae-dong) in Seocho-gu, as well as Bongcheon-dong, Sillim-dong in the currentGwanak-gu.
After 2 years since then, on October 1, 1975,after the redistricting between Yeongdeungpo-gu andGwanak-gu, Noryangjin-dong and Sangdo-dong in Gwanak-gu were separated on April 1, 1980 according to Presidential Decree No. 9630, and Dongjak-gu was established. The areas of Bangbae-dong and part of Sadang-dong were incorporated into Gwanak-gu, and they were renamed as Namhyeon-dong.
At that time, the areas which were separated fromGwanak-gu and incorporated into Dongjak-gu were: Noryangjin-dong, Sangdo-dong, Sangdo 1-dong, Bon-dong, Heukseok-dong, Daebang-dong, Sindaebang-dong, Dongjak-dong, Sadang-dong. Since January 1, 1988, part of Doksan-dong of Guro-gu was incorporated intoMiseong-dong(former Sillim 11-dong) in Gwanak-gu.
Accordingly, Gwanak-gu (27 administrative dong’s) controls the three dong’s of Namhyeon-dong, Bongcheon-dong, and Sillim-dong which were established in accordance with Seoul City Ordinance No. 1362.
Since then, Gwanak-gu changed the number of administrative dongs by integrating 6 dong’s which had less than a population of 40,000 residents by considering the characteristics of daily life zone, history and population depending on the rapid change of the administrative environment. On September 1, 2008, the district integrated dong’s into 21 and renamed them in accordance with Seoul City Gwanak-gu Ordinance No. 779 on September 1, 2008.