An Historic Marker for A Chinese Laundry Site in San Diego

Chinese Laundry, 1923 Marker

I was excited, and also a bit envious, to discover that San Diego placed a marker on a building in the historic Gaslamp Quarter which housed the Hop Lee Chong Laundry, which was  in continuous operation from the building’s construction in 1923 until 1964.

In contrast, I grew up in the Sam Lee Laundry in Macon, Georgia, which started back in 1885 and operated in the same building, (on the right edge of the photo below), until 1956 when my father sold the laundry, retired, and moved to San Francisco .

1906 Sam Lee laundry bib245-82

Sometime, probably in the 1970s, the historic building was demolished and converted into a parking lot, which stunned me when I saw it on a visit in 2004. I saw no historic marker at the site!

sam lee laundry-parking site 2004

I am standing in 2004 in front of what had been Sam Lee Laundry from 1885-1956.

A few years later, the street level open air parking lot was “upgraded” to an enclosed parking structure, but there was still no historic marker!  Maybe sometime in the future?

Sam Lee laundry site parking blg 2012

 

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