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Architecture of San Francisco Chinatown, The

by: Philip P. Choy

San Francisco CA: Chinese Historical Society of America 2008, Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-885864-38-3

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2009 Issue: 16(3) page(s): 19

This forty-two-page pamphlet is a fascinating look at early Chinatown architecture, its new skyline, Julia Morgan's interpretation, and occidental styles used to earn goodwill in a city trying to remove Chinese through legal and extra-legal means.

The booklet provides a glossary of architectural terms, has explanatory endnotes, and includes a page about the author. There are early black and white and sepia photos, some drawings, a few colored pictures, and much information including that by 1852, Chinese residents were twenty percent of California's foreign population. It is a great read and a wonderful look at San Francisco in its earlier days. Overall, this is a small brilliant gem.

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