Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $15.95
  • Save: $1.59 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
Only 7 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
San Francisco Chinatown: ... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Text is complete and readable with minor cosmetic damage , minimal writing/highlighting, tears and creases in the cover, missing or damaged dust jacket . 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed. Fast Processing. Ships from our facility within two business days. USPS Standard shipping is 4-14 business days. Deliveries outside the continental United States (Hawaii , Alaska, Puerto Rico, Guam) may take longer. See Delivery for other shipping options... Your feedback is important and helps us to better serve you in the future.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture Paperback – August 14, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$14.36
$8.28 $6.24

Featured architecture & urban design books
Explore featured titles on architecture and urban design.
$14.36 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 7 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture
  • +
  • The New Chinatown
Total price: $27.85
Buy the selected items together


Editorial Reviews

Review


"Philip P. Choy's San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture is just what local and out-of-town tourists have wanted and needed. . . . History buffs will be amazed by the wealth of lore, legend and radiant fact."—San Francisco Chronicle

"San Francisco Chinatown illuminates the untold history of the enclave... to consider the political, historical, and cultural implications of Chinatown's very existence."—San Francisco Bay Guardian

"Choy's book is easily read while walking, and fits easily into a jacket pocket. His descriptions are typically no more than two pages and are always accompanied by a large photo . . . I emphasize these qualities because the most important feature of a guidebook is that it is useable. And Choy has met this test."—Beyond Chron


About the Author

Philip P. Choy was born 1926 in San Francisco Chinatown at a time when an invisible boundary isolated the community from mainstream San Francisco. He lived on the N.W. corner of Pacific and Grant Ave. where his father co-owned a meat market that catered not only to the Chinese in the community but to the neighboring Italian housewives in North Beach.

Like all Chinese children he attended public school and after school attended Chinese school from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. He went to the University of California under the G.I. Bill and graduated with a degree in Architecture.

He is a retired architect and a renowned historian on the history of Chinese America. In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, Philip P. Choy and his colleague Him Mark Lai co-taught the Nation’s first college level course in Chinese American history at San Francisco State University. Since then he has created and consulted on numerous T.V. documentaries, exhibits and publications, including the Gaam Saan Haak–The Chinese of America in 1974. He co-authored The Coming Man: 19th Century American Perceptions of the Chinese with Professors Marlon Hom and Lorraine Dong. His most recent book is Canton Footprints: Sacramento’s Chinese Legacy.

His community services includes providing pro-bono architectural services to non-profit organizations such as the Chinese for Affirmative Action, the former Chinese YWCA, the Oroville Temple, and in 1943 produced the case report that placed the Angel Island Immigration Station on the National Registry of Historic Places. He has served on the California State Historic Resource Commission, on the San Francisco Landmark Advisory Board, five times as President of the Chinese Historical Society of America (CHSA), and currently an emeritus CHSA boardmember.

Among his awards of recognition is the prestigious San Francisco State University President’s Medal.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: City Lights Publishers (August 14, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0872865401
  • ISBN-13: 978-0872865402
  • Product Dimensions: 4.6 x 0.7 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #426,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Walter W. Ko on February 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
This is a book by a Chinese native-born authority in San Francisco Chinatown history with an architecture perspective supplemented by his son Brian in photographs. Philip does a good job in giving readers in short yet comprehensive history background from Spanish to Mexican and American periods and the development of Chinatown from welcome in 1850s to open anti-Chinese politics and hostility. The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and Fire was a heavenly sent opportunity to the Chinese. In this chapter, there are many vintage photos and pictures from that period ranging from prefabricated wooden houses to the ruins after the Quake.

He starts from the heart of Chinatown, Portsmouth Plaza with seven major attractions. The pictures then and now show the contrast. He not only describes the building structures but also points out their political history. The next is Sacramento Street which housed two Chinese newspapers, Chung Sai Yat Po and Chinese Daily Post in the old days. The text brings back their glory days in serving the locals in news affecting their lives.

The three sections of Grant Avenue are important as the central section is full of hustle and bustle. Philip introduces the building characters, especially the Chinese Telephone Exchange as the main focal point

Stockton is different from Grant with more religious and political organizations. Page 76 gives some incidents on Catholic and Protestants in anti-Chinese rally. They were fighting in saving the souls of Chinese brethren who were their neighbors. He devotes a few pages on Chinese YWCA building which now is the Museum home of Chinese Historical Society of America. He also talks about hospital and school.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having heard Philip Choy speak at several dinners and having his autographed books with his unique signature. I certainly enjoyed this book. Mr. Choy, both an architect and historian, is well-versed about San Francisco. He is a spry individual with so much knowledge about the Chinese-American experience. Since there were no books about the Chinese in Sacramento, Mr. Choy assisted the Chinese American Council of Sacramento write a book about the history of the capitol city of the state of California. Many local families submitted old photos and remembrances of Sacramento and the surrounding area. I live close to a street named for one of my friend's family who were early farmers in Sacramento.
Anything Mr. Choy does, he does with elegance and panache. He has such verve and enthusiasm in his talks. His writing does not contain
his enthusiasm as much as his presentations.

Since I am a native Northern Californian, I frequently go to Chinatown. During the years, the famous Chinese restaurants have been closing as other generations do not desire to go into the business. I recently heard that the Four Seasons will close this fall.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good basic street guide to SF Chinatown from a local historian and a local publisher. However the author has a few errors sprinkled throughout that sharp eyed and knowledgable natives will spot. Also there are some odd interpretations of the Chinese immigrant experience that is not necessarily true for all Chinese. Some of the author's romanization of Chinese names and words also do not conform to pinyin or any other phonetic systems. A major omission was a complete map of Chinatown -- a then and now street layout. Better fact checking and editing/proofing would help in a revised edition. This one isn't perfect but is still useful.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
this is an informative and interesting book on the history and growth on one of the oldest chinese areas in america...i enjoy learning about other cultures and this book is very helpful...it is full of pictures as an added bonus...so read it and then go visit several times...there are several walking tours described in the book...
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Choy's book gave me both the specific details and overall sociology of Chinatown's architecture that I was looking for. The photographs are helpful. His take on architecture is accessible and informative. Being a native of the area, he knows Chinatown well, and his knowledge of the area and its residents comes through.
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a magnificent book! So much detail, so much history, so many engaging stories of a community few outsiders ever get to see. Philip Choy has created a real treasure of facts and information for his readers in a compact book. And I'm really glad he did!
Comment One person found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: San Francisco Chinatown: A Guide to Its History and Architecture