Pittsburgh’s Chinatown Receives Historic Designation, Group Seeks Plaque Funding | News | Pittsburgh

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CP photo: Jared Wickerham

Chinatown Inn on Third Avenue in Chinatown, Pittsburgh

It can be difficult to find information about Chinatown in Pittsburgh. Most of the downtown buildings no longer exist and many people who once lived there left Pittsburgh when the community was destroyed to make way for the construction of Allied Boulevard.

But recently, Pittsburgh’s Chinatown received official Pennsylvania Historic Landmark status, and the Pittsburgh Chapter of the OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates is trying to further commemorate the tiny old downtown neighborhood.

OCA Pittsburgh raises $ 7,000 on GoFundMe to complete the bronze plaque commemorating Pittsburgh’s Chinatown.

“After 12 long years and 4 separate attempts, the OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates of Pittsburgh nonprofit has finally succeeded in securing Pennsylvania Official Historic Landmark status for downtown Pittsburgh’s Old Chinatown! ” reads OCA’s GoFundME page. “You can help us carry out this project! ”

Pittsburgh’s Chinatown began in the late 1800s, when around 300 Chinese workers were recruited to break a strike at the Beaver Falls Cutlery Factory. Many moved to Pittsburgh after their contracts ended, and as Pittsburgh’s Chinatown grew, Chinese residents opened restaurants and laundries, as well as herbal medicine stores, gift shops and grocery stores.

The Hip Sing and On Leong, two fraternal societies that had branches in other cities across the United States, served local Chinese residents and maintained a rivalry that led to land disputes, although the two organizations subsequently went on to separate each other. mixed. Chinatown Inn, one of the last remnants of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown, is housed in the former On Leong Labor and Merchants Association building.

GoFundMe, which was established on May 25, raised $ 2,595 of its July 8 goal of $ 7,000. This is the fourth attempt by the OCA to receive the designation of historic monument in 12 years, and according to the GoFundMe description, they plan to hold an in-person nomination ceremony in September. The ceremony adds $ 2,000 to the $ 5,000 needed to complete the plaque made to state specifications outlining the designation.

“We were hoping to make this a big deal, so we wanted performers and speakers to be paid for their expertise, as they rightly deserve,” said OCA Pittsburgh President Marian Mei-Ling Lien.

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