Manilatown Heritage Foundation
- San Francisco
The Manilatown Heritage Foundation (MHF) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by community activists and former tenants who were evicted from the International Hotel (I-Hotel) in 1977. The organization is at the forefront of preserving Manilatown, and with its partners, the Chinatown Community Development Center, the City of San Francisco, and the International Hotel Senior Housing Inc., has become an integral role in rebuilding of the new I-Hotel and Manilatown. Our main office is located at 953 Mission, Suite 30 San Francisco, CA 94103.
Manilatown once existed in the northeastern district of San Francisco. In the early 1920s it was a thriving hub of Filipino migration. Agricultural laborers, cannery workers and seamen made Manilatown their home as they moved from job to job. Following World War II, the City's Financial District started a rapid construction of high-rise buildings to satisfy the demand for the City's proliferating business sectors. Soon, the old International Hotel was all that was left of historic Manilatown. After successfully rallying various communities around this movement, the mostly elderly Filipino and Chinese tenants of the I-Hotel, were able to fight an eviction order in October 1968. On August 4, 1977, after nine years of fierce resistance, the tenants of the I-Hotel were brutally evicted. Two years later, the hotel was demolished, destroying the last vestiges of Manilatown.
Currently, the new rebuilt I-Hotel is a low income senior housing community located at 868 Kearny (Jackson) San Francisco, CA 94108. On the ground floor, the Manilatown Center is located serving the community in various ways. The space houses photography and art work. Along with displaying new upcoming artists, we also host talk stories, book signings, music events, private non-profit rentals, legal clinics, senior movies, and much more. There is also an archives program which digitally documents historic audio, video, photos, and news articles pertaining to Manilatown and the struggle for fair housing.
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