Photo 1: Chinese Mason Building,
Market Street elevation, Walnut Grove.
River Road elevation, Walnut Grove.
This building housed the Bing Kong Tong Benevolent Association and served as the social center for Chinatown. It was constructed soon after the 1937 fire to replace an earlier temple and benevolent society on the same spot.
Because of their importance to the entire community, public and institutional buildings often are consciously designed to reflect a group's culture. This is less likely to be true for private homes and businesses.Questions for Photos 1 & 2
1. Which side of the building seems most to reflect Chinese architecture? What are the features that lead to this conclusion?
2. Can examples of Chinese design be found on the Market Street side of this building?
3. What role did the benevolent association play in the community of Walnut Grove? Does this building seem appropriate for such an organization? Why might this building have reflected more Chinese influence than others in the district?
* The photos on the screen have a resolution of 72 dots per inch (dpi), and therefore will print poorly. You can obtain a high quality version of Photo 1 and Photo 2, but be aware that each file will take about 30 seconds to load with a 28.8K modem.