Friday, February 6, 2009

Preservation impetus for designs of Chinatown

The United Commercial Bank building at 743 Washington St. is adorned with showy Oriental features. Much of Chinatown's Asiatic architecture is a result of the rebuilding effort after the 1906 earthquake and fire, according to historian Philip Choy. (Liz Hafalia / The Chronicle)

Coicidentally, I stumbled upon an article by John King, from the SF Chroincle, about the self-preservation of San Francisco Chinatown's architecture. The Chinese wanted to keep their architecture alive after the 1906 Earthquake because it wanted to convince the SF Board of Supervisors that it can make Chinatown attractive, instead of giving it a presence of a "sinful, unclean" pleace.

The fact I didn't know was that European architects actually designed some of the buildings in Chinatown to convey its exotic feeling. 

Phillip Choy wrote a book on this, titled: "The Architecture of San Francisco Chinatown", which seems interesting to look at. I haven't read it, and don't know if I'll have time to look at it. It could help me in my future goals, I guess. 

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