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San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture


San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

**A Los Angeles Times summer reading pick**

"A stunning new guidebook. . . History buffs will be amazed by the wealth of lore, legend and radiant fact."—San Francisco Chronicle

San Francisco Chinatown is the first "insider's guide" to one of America's most celebrated ethnic enclaves by an author born and raised there. Both a history of America's oldest Chinese community and a guide to its significant sites and architecture, San Francisco Chinatown traces the development of the neighborhood from the city's earliest days to its post-quake transformation into an "oriental" tourist attraction as a pragmatic means of survival. Written by architect and Chinese American studies pioneer Philip P. Choy, and featuring photographs and walking tours, the book details the triumphs and tragedies of the Chinese American experience in the United States.


San Francisco Chinatown is the first history of and guide to SF Chinatown written by someone born and raised there.

About the Author

Philip P. Choy was born 1926 in San Francisco Chinatown at a time when an invisible boundary isolated the community from mainstream San Francisco. He lived on the N.W. corner of Pacific and Grant Ave. where his father co-owned a meat market that catered not only to the Chinese in the community but to the neighboring Italian housewives in North Beach.

Like all Chinese children he attended public school and after school attended Chinese school from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. He went to the University of California under the G.I. Bill and graduated with a degree in Architecture.

He is a retired architect and a renowned historian on the history of Chinese America. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, Philip P. Choy and his colleague Him Mark Lai co-taught the Nations first college level course in Chinese American history at San Francisco State University. Since then he has created and consulted on numerous T.V. documentaries, exhibits and publications, including the Gaam Saan Haak–The Chinese of America in 1974. He co-authored The Coming Man: 19th Century American Perceptions of the Chinese with Professors Marlon Hom and Lorraine Dong. His most recent book is Canton Footprints: Sacramentos Chinese Legacy.

His community services includes providing pro-bono architectural services to non-profit organizations such as the Chinese for Affirmative Action, the former Chinese YWCA, the Oroville Temple, and in 1943 produced the case report that placed the Angel Island Immigration Station on the National Registry of Historic Places. He has served on the California State Historic Resource Commission, on the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board, five times as President of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), and currently an emeritus CHSA boardmember.

Among his awards of recognition is the prestigious San Francisco State University Presidents Medal.

Product Details

Choy, Philip P.
City Lights Books
Museums, Tours, Points of Interest
Travel-US Western States
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
BandW photos throughout
8.5 x 4.63 in

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Architecture » History » Contemporary (1945-)
Children's » General
History and Social Science » Americana » San Francisco
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » World History » General
Travel » General
Travel » Museums, Tours, and Points of Interest
Travel » North America » United States » Western States

San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture New Trade Paper
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Product details 184 pages City Lights Books - English 9780872865402 Reviews:
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San Francisco Chinatown is the first history of and guide to SF Chinatown written by someone born and raised there.
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