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Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels



Seattle’s Chinatown-International District is a one-of-a-kind site of Asian American history. Growing from a single Chinese immigrant in the 1850 and 1860 Washington Territory Census to a bustling center of culture and activism, the C-ID is perhaps the only enclave in the US where different Asian immigrant groups have grown side-by-side, without distinct boundaries. The intermingling was a response to both discriminatory policies and the brick-and-mortar architecture of single-room occupancy (SRO) hotels.

With a treasure trove of archival images, a series of original maps showing neighborhood change, and the interviews with longtime C-ID residents, Wong’s architecture and urban planning backgrounds never fail to find their anchor with the emotional realities of the people. Prophetically, this book comes at a time when C-ID residents are rallying around the anti-gentrification #humbowsnothotels campaign. Wong is hopeful that Building Tradition can provide a foundation for Asian American activists as well as cities across the country and the world looking for more just ways to increase urban density.


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Book Title:
Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels
Marie Rose Wong, PhD
Chin Music Press, 2018


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