Chinatown alleyways renamed in honor of community members 

click to enlarge Chinatown
  • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
  • Several Chinatown alleyways are receiving new names.
Three Chinatown alleyways will receive honorary renaming as a tribute to some community members whose contributions are deeply rooted in the past.

While the official postal addresses won’t change, Bartol Street will have Enid Ng Lim Alley added in honor of a community activist who, among other contributions, fought to prevent a building from being converted into office spaces but rather a senior care center, where she eventually passed away.

“Someone was evicting all the tenants there. It was kind of like the Ellis Act today,” said Norman Fong, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center.

Old Chinatown Lane will soon also be known as it formerly was — Donaldina Cameron Alley — after a Presbyterian missionary who rescued and educated more than 3,000 girls and women from the 1890s to 1930s. The Donaldina Cameron House situated in that alley serves immigrant families and youths in Chinatown.

“Donaldina had done rescues in that very alley of Chinese girls from human trafficking, and that was partly why it was originally named that after her,” said May Leong, executive director of Donaldina Cameron House.

Merchant Street will also get signage for Harold “Bud” Moose Lane after the man who oversaw the building of the 27-story Hilton Hotel on Kearney Street, which houses the Chinese Cultural Center.

Unlike an honorary renaming, an official postal renaming is a much lengthier process and requires approval from the U.S. Postal Service, said Amy Chan, legislative aide for Board of Supervisors President David Chiu, who sponsored legislation for the three renamed alleys, which the board adopted Tuesday.

About The Author

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong

Jessica Kwong covers transportation, housing, and ethnic communities, among other topics, for the San Francisco Examiner. She covered City Hall as a fellow for the San Francisco Chronicle, night cops and courts for the San Antonio Express-News, general news for Spanish-language newspapers La Opinión and El Mensajero,... more
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