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Asian American Studies

1830 Sutter Street, San Francisco: Community Memory, Preservation and Resist

Anne Calef ('12); Mentor: Tomás Summers Sandoval

Abstract: My research project seeks to tell the story of San Francisco Japan-town community development and preservation through the lens of one building, 1830 Sutter Street. Designed by Julia Morgan in 1932 as a gift to the Japanese community, initially 1830 Sutter housed the Japanese Young Women’s Christian Association. However, due to the Alien Land Laws of 1913 and 1920, the Issei founders were unable to hold the deed to the property and were forced to give it, in trust, to the predominately white San Francisco YWCA. In the ensuing years, 1830 Sutter Street bore witness to many salient issues in Japan-town history:  Japanese American Internment, resettlement and “urban renewal” programs. The history the Japanese YWCA remained buried  beneath large scale community changes until 1996 when a lawsuit over the building brought the Japan-town community together to fight once again to preserve their community and continue the legacy of the Issei women.
Funding Provided by: Pomona College SURP

Research at Pomona