and 1972 San Pablo Ave
are the only survivors of a thriving Chinese
garment district that formed along San Pablo Avenue near City Hall in
the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Hing Chong &
Co. occupied 1966-68 San Pablo Ave from 1906 through 1923 (Fong
2005). 1972 San Pablo Ave, Muller’s residence and tailor shop by
1893, also housed an associated service industry (OCHS files).
The two buildings, which share some structural features, are
significant as representatives of early 20th century social life and
commerce and provide a window into the long history of an
integrated, multi-ethnic Oakland.
1966-68 and 1972 San Pablo Ave are also the immediate successor
buildings to the “official” Chinatown designated in 1867 on San Pablo
Avenue after the previous “official” Chinatown--established north of
14th Street on what would become the site of the northward extension of
Broadway--was that year destroyed by fire (Naruta 2004, 2005; Chew
This Chinatown site is also significant as a window into interethnic
relations, as it was established on the land of Irish immigrant Edmund
Hogan, who had immigrated during the Gold Rush and remained a resident
on his San Pablo Avenue property from at least the 1860s until his
death in the 1880s (Naruta 2005).
The significance of these buildings in the resilience of Chinese and
Chinese Americans in Oakland continues: According to the OCHS, a
three-person “oriental” household was recorded for 1966-1968 San Pablo
Ave in the 1936 WPA survey.
May 2005 marked the new discovery of these buildings’ significance as
the survivors of the turn-of-the-century Chinese garment district along
San Pablo Ave near City Hall. The discovery was made as Kelly
Fong (2005) completed a research project that used the Sanborn maps,
the 1882 Wells, Fargo Directory of Chinese Businesses, and a sample of
the Chinese-Exclusion era Chinese Partnership and Immigration files in
the National Archives
to discover new information about early Chinese