Chinatown, St. Louis

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This article is about the old Chinatown in Downtown St. Louis. For the new Chinatown, see University City, Missouri
St. Louis Chinatown
Neighborhood of St. Louis
New and old Busch Stadiums, at the location of the old Chinatown
New and old Busch Stadiums, at the location of the old Chinatown
Coordinates: 38°37′38″N 90°11′52″W / 38.62722°N 90.19778°W / 38.62722; -90.19778
Country United States
CitySt. Louis
Area code(s)Area code 314

Chinatown in St. Louis, Missouri, was a Chinatown near Downtown St. Louis that existed from 1869 until its demolition for Busch Memorial Stadium in 1966.[1] Also called Hop Alley, it was bounded by Seventh, Tenth, Walnut and Chestnut streets.[2]


The first Chinese immigrant to St. Louis was Alla Lee, born in Ningbo near Shanghai, who arrived in the city in 1857. Lee remained the only Chinese immigrant until 1869, when a group of about 250 immigrants (mostly men) arrived seeking factory work.[3] In January 1870, another group of Chinese immigrants arrived, including some women.[4] By 1900, the immigrant population of St. Louis Chinatown had settled at between 300 and 400.[5] Chinatown established itself as the home to Chinese hand laundries, which in turn represented more than half of the city's laundry facilities.[6] Other businesses included groceries, restaurants, tea shops, barber shops, and opium dens.[7] Between 1958 and the mid-1960s, Chinatown was condemned and demolished for urban renewal and to make space for Busch Memorial Stadium.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ling, 16.
  2. ^ a b Virtual St. Louis: Chinatown Web site
  3. ^ Ling, 26.
  4. ^ Ling, 27.
  5. ^ Ling, 30.
  6. ^ Ling, 36.
  7. ^ Ling, 43.


  • Friswold, Paul; Alison Sieloff (July 20, 2005). "This Week's Day by Day Picks". Riverfront Times. St. Louis, Missouri. Retrieved Jan 16, 2011.
  • Ling, Huping (2004). Chinese St. Louis: From enclave to cultural community. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Temple University Press.
  • "Olive Boulevard Design Guidelines" (Press release). University City, Missouri. January 2009. Retrieved Jan 16, 2011.
  • Schankman, Paul (October 20, 2010). "Chinese Immigrants in St. Louis". KPLR. St. Louis, Missouri: KPLR. Retrieved Jan 17, 2011.
  • "Virtual St. Louis: Chinatown Node". University of Missouri-St. Louis. March 2004. Retrieved Jan 16, 2011.