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Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District

Coordinates: 32°42′38″N 117°09′40″W / 32.7105°N 117.1610°W / 32.7105; -117.1610
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San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
San Diego Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Gate

The Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District (APTHD), San Diego's historic Chinatown, is an eight-block district adjacent to and in part overlapping with the Gaslamp Quarter Historic District. The APTHD is bounded by Market Street on the north, 2nd Ave. on the west, 6th Ave. on the east and J St. on the south. 22 structures are considered historically contributing.


San Diego's Chinatown began in the area in the 1860s, settled by abalone fishermen. The area was once a thriving Chinatown full of Chinese and Chinese-Americans. However, in present day, the area no longer has an especially large Chinese population. After returning from service in World War II, Chinese-Americans moved to other areas of San Diego. The area was finally concluded as a Historic District during the redevelopment of the Gaslamp Quarter in the 1980s and 90s, when eventually dozens of Chinese owned businesses closed and the majority of the Chinese population began to dissipate.[citation needed]

The area was not only home to the Chinese community in San Diego, but was also shared by the Japanese and Filipino communities.[1]

The City of San Diego designated the area a historic district in 1987.[2]

A "makeover" by the Centre City Development Corporation is scheduled for completion in 2012.[3]

Architecture and Contributing Buildings[edit]

The 22 contributing structures date from 1883-1930. Contribution is based on their relation in the Asian (mostly Chinese) community. Buildings include the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum and the San Diego Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association.

The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum was built in 1927 elsewhere and was originally the Chinese Mission.[4] It was moved to its present location in 1996.[5] Murray K. Lee, curator of the museum, is as of January 2011 preparing a book about the history of Chinatown.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Linda Trinh Võ (2004). Mobilizing an Asian American Community. Temple University Press. p. 167. ISBN 978-1-59213-262-1.
  2. ^ Marael Johnson; Joe Yogerst (2006). San Diego. National Geographic Society. p. 29. ISBN 978-0-7922-6202-2.
  3. ^ Center City Development Corporation: Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District Improvements Archived January 29, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Mission & History". San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Retrieved 22 August 2014.
  5. ^ Amanda Strause, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 11, 2009, "Asian historic district set to get a makeover"
  6. ^ "Voice of San Diego.org, January 2011, "Chronicler of S.D.'s Chinatown"". Archived from the original on 2011-01-02. Retrieved 2011-03-15.
  • Center City Redevelopment Corporation, "Asian Pacific Thematic Historic District Master Plan", approved August 15, 1995

External links[edit]

32°42′38″N 117°09′40″W / 32.7105°N 117.1610°W / 32.7105; -117.1610