82nd Avenue Chinese Neighborhood. Portland.
82nd Avenue Chinese Neighborhood extends along NE 82nd Avenue with its center near NE Brazee Street. Businesses along the thoroughfare include restaurants, grocery stores, bakeries, tea shops, coffee shops, and numerous malls. The relocation of the Hung Far Low restaurant from Second Chinatown to 82nd Avenue indicated that Third Chinatown had “arrived.” Reference: “Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon.” Photo.
Bing Kung Bow Leong Society Building. Portland.
The two-story building, located at 24 N.W. Fourth Avenue, was constructed in 1910. The Bing Kung Bow Leong Society, itself dating to 1914, purchased the building in 1956. It serves as the society’s headquarters and is listed in the National Registry of Historic Places. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places. 1989: Section 7, 38-39.
Bishop Scott Academy. Portland.
The American-born Chinese brigade of the Oregon National Guard held training exercises at the academy. The 35-man brigade was established in 1898 during the Spanish American War and was the only Chinese American one of its kind in the United States. Reference: Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project n.d.; McConnell 1979: 149.
Bong Wai Chen Building. Portland.
Located in Old Chinatown, it was the home of the Chinese bilingual newspaper that has appeared quarterly starting in 1961. It is sponsored by the Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association. Reference: McConnell 1979: 163.
Burnside Street Maple Trees. Portland.
The street trees along W. Burnside Street are part of the plantings on N.W. Fourth Avenue. As with the flowering cherry trees of Fourth Street, they are intended to create a colorful atmosphere throughout the Portland Old Town/Chinatown Historic District. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places. 1989: Section 7, 4. Photo.
C. Gee Wo Chinese Medicine Company. Portland.
The C. Gee Wo Chinese Medicine Company of Portland was on the second floor of the building at 262 ½ Alder Street in 1924. Reference: Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project n.d.
Chinatown Gate. Portland.
The Chinatown gate spans N.W. Fourth Avenue, north of W. Burnside Street. It marks the entrance to the renovated New (Second) Chinatown and as a memorial to Oregon’s pioneer Chinese. The gate was designed in Taiwan, measuring almost 40 feet in height. It is flanked by two large bronze lions, the male on the east and the female on the west. The Chinese words inscribed on the south face of the gate translate as "Portland Chinatown" and the words on the north side translate as "Four Seas, One Family." Its official opening was November 8, 1986. Reference: Oregonian, The, February 13, 1986: D6; Portside, Vol. 12 #1, Winter, 1987:4. Photo.
China House. Warrendale.
China House was a bunkhouse for the Chinese workers employed by the Warrendale Cannery in the community of Warrendale. The cannery itself was located midway between the Sandy River and the Hood River on the south side of the Columbia River. Established in 1876, it employed as many as 80 Chinese workers at a time for six months of the year. The workers were provided by the Wang On Company and Wing Sing Long Kee Company, both of Portland. The Chinese came to dominate all aspects of the cannery industry and continued to be important even after the exclusion Act of 1882. Going out of business around 1930, China House and the Warrendale Cannery represents one of the best documented sites of Chinese cannery employment. Reference: Fagan 1993: 215-219.
Chinese American Citizens Alliance Headquarters Building. Portland.
The Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), headquarters building was originally at 211 N.W. Third Avenue in today's New Chinatown when it was established in 1921. The CACA is a national non-partisan activist organization for Chinese American empowerment and is actively involved in community service. Reference: Chinese American Citizens Alliance-Portland Lodge; Email communication April 3, 2011.
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Building. Portland.
The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) building is at 315 N.W. Davis Street. Built in 1910-1911, it was designed by David L. Williams and reflects the architectural style established by the CCBA in San Francisco, California. A renovation project was concluded in 1981. Currently, the building acts as a social gathering place, Chinese school, and museum. The association itself, established in 1890 and known as Jung Wah, was initially located on the second floor of a building at S.W. Second Avenue and Pine Street. The association moved to its present building in 1911. The CCBA has functioned as the governing body for Chinese and presently is active in community affairs. (See Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Museum, Portland). Reference: McConnell 1979: 144; National Registry of Historic Places. 1989: Section 7, p. 21-23; Ooligan Press and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2007: 56, 106; Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2010. Photo.
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Museum, Portland.
A museum of Chinese artifacts related to the Pacific Northwest is housed on the fourth floor of the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association building located at 315 N.W. Davis Street. It opened in 1984. Open to the public on Saturday. See Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Building. Reference: Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2010; Chinatown Development Commission: 15.
Chinese-English Street Signs. Portland.
Bilingual street signs were installed throughout Portland New Chinatown in May 1981. Their purpose was to maintain the historic and ethnic character of the area. Money for the signs was raised by the Chinese community. The signs combine a literal and phonetic translation of the street’s English language name. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places. 1989: Section 7, 3.
Chinese Vegetable Gardens. Portland.
Chinese Gardens was located in an east-west direction between Fourteenth and Twenty First Avenues and north to south between Burnside and Market Streets in the area of and along Tanner Creek. The site of extensive vegetable gardening dates to 1879 when the Chinese gardeners sold their produce throughout the Portland area. By 1889, the gardens had expanded beyond Burnside and Fourteenth Streets almost to Jefferson Street. In 1893, a portion of the area was developed into a sports stadium, eventually becoming today’s Providence Park. Limited Chinese vegetable gardening continued until 1910 when all gardening activity stopped due to urban growth in the area. Reference: McConnell 1979: 70-71; Wong 2004: 212; Burk 2006; Ooligan Press and Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2007: 70.
Chinese Vegetable Gardens Satellite. Portland.
A second area of Chinese vegetable gardening developed between Twentieth Avenue and Chapman Street along Jefferson Street by 1901. It was short lived, being gone by 1908. Reference: Wong 2004: 216-17.
Chinese Language School. Portland.
The Chinese Language School is located at 315 N.W. Davis Street within the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association building. The school was established in 1910 by Moy Back Hin who was appointed Consul for the States of Oregon, Idaho, and Washington by the Chinese government in 1908. The school offers studies in Chinese language and culture. See Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Building, Portland. Reference: McConnell 1979: 147-148 National Registry of Historic Places. 1989: Section 7, 10; Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2010.
Chinese Memorial Park, Lone Fir Cemetery, Portland.
The Chinese section of Lone Fir Cemetery is in the southwest corner of the cemetery’s 30.5 acres at Morrison Street and S.E. 20th Avenue. It is known as Block 14. The first burials in the cemetery date to 1846 with various Chinese associations purchasing plots in Block 14 as early as the 1870's. Partial records indicate at least 1131 Chinese were interred there. Exhumations occurred in 1928 and 1949, as dictated by Chinese custom, with the bones returned to China. Subsequent construction on the site revealed additional remains; prompting the area to eventually be designated a memorial park commemorating the Chinese pioneers. Reference: McConnell 1979: 128; Associated Press 2004: 1.
Chinese Presbyterian Church, Portland.
Located at 107 N.W. Third Avenue, the building was constructed in 1892. However, the Chinese did not purchase the building until 1942. A fire destroyed all but the front in 1974 with the area behind becoming a parking lot. The Chinese Presbyterian Church itself dates 1885 with its original facility on 117 N.W. Third Avenue. It is now located at 4937 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 26-27.
Fong Chong Grocery and Restaurant Building. Portland.
The Fong Chong Grocery and Restaurant building was constructed at 301 N.W. Fourth Avenue in 1905. Presently a one-story building, a fire caused the upper two levels to be removed in 1979. Fong Chong Grocery and Restaurant have occupied the structure since 1932. Seid Back Jr., a prominent Chinese American attorney and activist, owned the building from 1927-1934. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 55-56.
Fourth Avenue Street Cherry Trees. Portland.
To help create the atmosphere of Portland Old Town/Chinatown Historic District, oriental flowering cherry trees were planted along N.W. Fourth Avenue from Burnside Street to Everett Street and along the cross streets for one half block on either side. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 4.
Gee How Oak Tin Association Building. Portland.
The Gee How Oak Tin Association building, with its Chinese-style embellishments, is at 28 N.W. Fourth Avenue. The two-story structure was built in 1905. The association acquired the building in 1963 and occupies the top floor with commercial activity on the ground floor. Gee How Oak Tin is a family association consisting of those with the surname Chan, Woo and Yuen. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 39.
Gue Hin Chou Theater. Portland.
The Gue Hin Chou Theater was located at the corner of S.W. Second Avenue and S.W. Ash Street. Established in 1879, it was considered the largest and most successful of the Chinese theaters, closing its doors in 1904. Reference: McConnell 1979: 125.
Guilds Lake Chinese Gardens. Portland.
Guilds Lake was approximately 1.5 miles from First Chinatown, near today’s N.W. 29th Street and Upshur Street. Chinese gardeners grew vegetable along the shore of the 400-acre lake starting in the 1870's. On March 12, 1886, Non-Chinese destroyed their cabins, an act attributed to anti-Chinese sentiments. The lake itself was filled between 1906 and the 1920's. Reference: McConnell 1979: 70, 102.
Hip Sing Association Building. Portland.
The building is located at 211 N.W. Third Avenue, being built in 1889. Its brick construction, now covered with stucco, displays several Chinese design elements. The structure was designed by Justin Krumbein as an addition to the adjacent Seamen’s Bethel building. Ownership passed to the Hip Sing Association in 1947. See New Wah Mei Building, Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 17-19.
Hop Sing Tong Building. Portland.
Hop Sing Tong Building is at 317 N.W. Third Avenue. The building was the headquarters of the Hop Sing Tong. The Hop Sing Tong was the fourth largest organization in the Portland Chinatown.
Hop Wo Washing and Ironing. Portland.
Hop Wo was located at the corner of S.W. Front Avenue and Morrison Street as shown in a photograph dating to the 1850s. It may be one of the earliest Chinese businesses in the area which is now part of the Morrison Bridge approach. Reference: Roulette 1994: 13.
House of Louie Building. Portland.
The House of Louie building is at 202-210 N.W. Fourth Avenue, being built in 1922. Purchased by Chinese in 1943, its exterior was altered in 1966 and 1988. The architectural elements and motifs lend itself to the New Chinatown Historic District theme. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 23.
Hung Far Low Building. Portland.
The Hung Far Low building, a two-story brick structure, is located at 102-112 N.W. Fourth Avenue. It was built in 1916. Ownership and use by the Chinese dates to at least 1928, when Wong On opened the Hung Far Low restaurant. The restaurant relocated to Third Chinatown in 2005. See 82nd Avenue Chinese Neighbor, Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 29-30.
Hung Far Low Sign. Portland.
The original 2000-pound sign attached to the building announcing the Hung Far Low restaurant was restored and reinstalled in 2008-2009. The project was funded by both the community and city. It continues to promote chop suey, a Chinese American dish popular during the 1940's-1950's. Reference: “Return of the Hung Far Low Sign.” Photo.
Is Sing Clothing Manufacturing. Portland.
Is Sing Clothing Manufacturing was located on the south side of Salmon Street near today’s U.S. District Court. Established in 1875, it was the first Chinese business on the block. By 1886 the building had become the Tung Kee Laundry. In 1907, Moy Back Hin expanded the Chinese presence in the area by purchasing additional lots. Reference: Roulette 1994: 16-17, 19, 22-23.
Kwong Wah Lung and Company. Portland.
Kwong Wah Lung and Company was at 63 Second Avenue in First Chinatown. The store sold Chinese general merchandise and acted as a contractor for Chinese labor. Reference: Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project n.d.
Lake Tai Rock. Portland.
Lake Tai Rock is within the Terry Schrunk Park in the 1200 block of SW Third Avenue. The 16-foot tall, 17-ton limestone was shaped by the waters of Tai Lake (Tai Hu or Grand Lake), itself a meteor-impact crater filled with fresh water. The monument was a gift to Portland from its sister city, Suzhou, China and was placed in the park in 1996. The Chinese words on the monument read, “Rare stone calls forth the spirit.’ A plague at the base provides details of the gift and the significance of the stone. Reference: Taihu Lake; West n.d. Photo.
Lan Su Chinese Garden. Portland.
Lan Su Chinese Garden is located in the Portland Historic Chinatown District at NE Third Avenue and Everett Street. The city block size garden was originally known as Portland Classical Chinese Garden. With more than 500 plant species, a lake, bridge, etc., it is based on Suzhou classical gardens in the People’s Republic of China. The garden opened to the public in 2000. Reference: Classical Chinese Garden. Photo.
New Chinatown. Portland.
New Chinatown is an alternate name for Second Chinatown. See Second Chinatown, Portland.
New Wah Mei Building. Portland.
The building is at 203-209 N.W. Third Avenue and was built for Portland’s Seamen’s Bethel Friends Society. It is a four-story brick building covered with stucco, designed by Justin Krumbein. Chinese businesses occupied the first floor from 1920- 1944 when the entire building was purchased by a Chinese family. See Hip Sing Association Building, Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 19-20.
Old Chinatown. Portland.
The first Chinatown of Portland, often known as Old Chinatown, was within S.W. First Avenue and S.W. Second Avenue and Washington Street and Alder Street by 1865. It included the Morrison Street dock where most new Chinese immigrants arrived. The structures were mostly constructed of brick with two-three stories. There were merchants, boarding houses, association headquarters, three theaters, restaurants, gambling halls, and laundries. By the late 1880's, it housed over 1500 Chinese with boundaries from Ash Street to Taylor Street and the Willamette River to N.W. Fourth Avenue. A fire in 1873 and a flood in 1894 prompted the relocation of much of the community to what was called New Chinatown, now a part of the Portland Old Town/Chinatown Historic District. The last Chinese establishment was razed in 1965, thereby, marking the end of First Chinatown. Reference: McConnell 1979: 113-24, 133; Chinatown Redevelopment Commission 1983: 4-5; National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 11-13, 15; “Old Town Chinatown, Portland, Oregon.” n.d.; Lee, 2021.
Old Town-Chinatown Max Station. Portland.
Old Town-Chinatown Mac Station is located at NW First Street and Davis Street. The station is within Second Chinatown.
Ornamental Street Lights. Portland.
Fifty-seven ornamental streetlights line the business blocks between N.W. Third Avenue to Fifth Avenue and Burnside Street to Flanders Street in the Portland Old Town/Chinatown Historic District. Installed in 1984, the red light-posts with gold trim, representing prosperity and good luck, give the entire district a colorful and distinct appearance. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 3; Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association 2010; Photo.
Pallay Building. Portland.
The Pallay building is at 231-239 N.W. Third Avenue, having been constructed in 1908. Designed by Alexander C. Ewart for M. Pallay, it served the Chinese community from its beginning. Commercial activity occurred on the ground floor with residences on the second floor. See Wong’s Laundry Building, Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 16.
Portland Chinatown Museum. Portland.
An early, traditional Chinese cemetery is located in Lincoln Memorial Park, 11801 S.E. Mount Scott Road. The cemetery dates to 1909. Reference: "New Asians." Photo.
Portland Historic Chinatown District Streetscape. Portland.
Buildings within the district that have been used by the Chinese and contribute to the overall appearance of the historic district include the following.
Powell Boulevard Chinese Neighborhood extends along Powell Boulevard between 51 and 82nd Avenues. Reference: "Travel Portland.”
Republic Café and Wok Express Building. Portland.
The Republic Café and Wok Express building is at 222-238 N.W. Fourth Avenue and was built in 1922. The building has housed Chinese merchants and associations since its construction. The restaurant from which the building draws its name opened in 1930. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 24.
New Chinatown. Portland.
An area of approximately 8 blocks, New Chinatown was bounded by N.W. Fifth Avenue on the east, N.W. Third Avenue on the west, Flanders Street on the north, and W. Burnside Street on the south. Many residents of the original Chinatown moved there after a fire (1873) and a flood (1894) destroyed or damaged most of the first Chinatown. By 1895, the area contained a hospital, four churches, two joss houses, five herb shops and a theater. By the early 1950's, urban renewal of the area resulted in only a few of its original businesses and buildings. The area became part of the Old Town/Chinatown Historic District in 1989. Reference: Old Town-Chinatown, Portland, Oregon, n.d. McConnell 1979: 133-134, 138; National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 1-2, Section 8: 13.
Sandy Boulevard Chinese Neighborhood. Portland.
Sandy Boulevard Chinese Neighborhood extends along Sandy Boulevard between NE 2nd and 68th Avenues. Reference: “Travel Portland.”
Shanghai Tunnels. Portland.
Although often associated with the Chinese, the Shanghai Tunnels actually are connections between the basements of many early businesses in the area of NW Couch, Davis and Everett Streets. They were developed as a means of moving goods from the docks on the Willamette River to the basement storage areas. Reference: Shanghai Tunnels; “The Secrets of the Underground Tunnels”; “The Portland Underground FAQ”; Pickett 1990: Sec. C: 07.
Suey Sing Benevolent Association Building. Portland.
The Suey Sing Association building at 211 N.W. Fourth Avenue was built in 1889. The three-story brick building covered with stucco was used by the Chinese in the early days, being purchased by them in 1944. Spaces within the building have been used as restaurants, retail stores, a fireworks company, medical company, noodle manufacturing, and the Chinese American Association headquarters. Reference: Chinatown Development Commission 1983: 15-16; National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 51-52.
Third Chinatown, Portland.
The Tong Sung Restaurant and Boarding House was on S.W. Second Street in First Chinatown. It was near the Morrison Street dock, the debarkation point for newly arrived immigrants. Sung Sung, the proprietor, established the operation in 1851. It has been reported as the earliest indication of a Chinese business in Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 8: 1; Wegar 1995: 9.
Tuck Lung Grocery and Restaurant Building. Portland.
The building is at 140 N.W. Fourth Avenue. Its Chinese motif and function contribute to the atmosphere of Second Chinatown, aiding in the revitalization of the area. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 31.
Tung Sang Laundry. Portland.
Tung Sang was the last Chinese laundry in Portland Chinatown. It closed in 1979. Reference: McConnell 1979.
Twin Wo and Company. Portland.
Twin Wo and Company at 233 S.W. Second Avenue, was one of Portland’s leading merchant houses, being established about 1877. It also served as a Chinese labor contractor. The company moved to that location in 1909 after being purchased by Moy Back Hin, reportedly Portland’s first millionaire. The building was demolished around 1950. Reference: Columbia River Basin Ethnic History Project n.d.; Roulette 1994: 17-25.
Wong’s Laundry Building. Portland.
Wong’s Laundry building is adjacent to the Pallay building, at 221-223 N.W. Third Avenue. It is a two-story building covered with stucco. Commercial activity on the first floor and residences on the second. See Pallay Building, Portland. Reference: National Registry of Historic Places 1989: Sec. 7: 17.
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