Each year, millions of people visit Chinatown in Philadelphia, an area that is overflowing with culture, fun, and good food. But few know the history of this amazing section of the city. The Chinatown workers’ compensation attorneys at Schuster Law are excited to bring you this article on the history of this Philadelphia neighborhood.
Chinatown: The Beginning
In 1870, a man named Lee Fong opened a laundromat at 913 Race Street. Fong was an immigrant from China and had originally attempted to settle further west, however, strong anti-Chinese sentiment pushed him to leave and make his home in Philadelphia. He saw a need for a laundromat to serve the commercial wharves and this is why he chose Race Street.
Soon others followed and for many years, Race Street was a cluster of laundromats and restaurants run by Chinese immigrants. Sadly, due to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, many of the immigrants were unable to establish families due to the ban on immigration from China. However, after World War II, immigration policies loosened and soon the area that would become Chinatown became family-oriented.
Social and cultural organizations blossomed, helping to preserve Chinese culture while improving the neighborhood.
Today, Chinatown is still a haven for immigrants. Nearly 75% of all of the businesses are small, family-owned establishments. The area has grown yet the residents have a strong sense of community.
Things To Do In Chinatown
Here are just a few of the fun things to do and see while visiting Chinatown in Philadelphia:
Visit The Chinatown Friendship Gate
The Chinatown Friendship Gate is a 40-foot-tall colorful gateway that was created by Sabrina Soong to mark the entrance of Chinatown. Be sure to stop and check out this amazing piece of architecture.
Take A Philly Food Adventure Tour
There are so many amazing spots to eat in Chinatown and it can be overwhelming when you’re trying to decide where to go! Philly Food Adventures offers a 2.5 hour walking tour that includes multiple stops!
See The Lights At The Chinese Lantern Festival
Although not technically in Chinatown, every year the Chinese Lantern Festival comes to Philly. Visitors will see hundreds of amazing light sets have the opportunity to see many live performances and partake in a variety of delicious foods.
The Chinatown workers’ compensation attorneys at Schuster Law hope that you are now excited to spend time in Chinatown. For more information on this amazing neighborhood, read our post on autobody shops in Chinatown.