Hudson Site Proposal Interior
740 FOOT TOWER PROPSED FOR HUDSON SITE »


10 FUN THINGS TO DO IN DETROIT »



Results 1 to 20 of 20
  1. #1

    Default Detroit's First Chinatown

    I have a good friend who grew up at 1411 Third Street before the Lodge Freeway was built. I would be so grateful if someone could point me toward photos of Detroit's first Chinatown, the one that existed up and down Third and Fourth Streets between Plum and Fort. And my friend would be so happy to see them!

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Default

    A few more pictures can be seen here:
    https://digital.library.wayne.edu/di...:collectionvmc
    (enter "chinese" in the refine results box)

    This is a film that, sadly, seems to have no sound, but it seems to be about the demolition and moving of Chinatown. It contains several scenes of life and commerce in Detroit's old Chinatown:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtOZL7g66hUc

    Apropos of the season, I love this shot of a Chinese New Year celebration in front of the original Chung's on what I believe is Third between Abbott and Porter:
    Name:  chinatown chungs new years 40s.jpg
Views: 766
Size:  94.4 KB
    (This photo can be seen in greater detail at the link above)
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-01-17 at 11:29 AM.

  4. #4

    Default

    Happy Year of the Rooster

  5. #5

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clubboss View Post
    Happy Year of the Rooster
    In behalf of all us roosters I thank you.

    Name:  year-of-the-rooster.jpg
Views: 761
Size:  168.8 KB

  6. #6

    Default

    1411 Third was between Porter and Michigan on the west side of the street. Your friend should be able to glimpse his/her home in the background of this shot, labelled as a parade celebrating Chaing Kai Shek, taken in almost the same location as the one I posted above. This is looking north on Third from Abbott towards Michigan.

    Name:  chinatown chungs 40s.jpg
Views: 662
Size:  28.4 KB

    A much larger and closer in view of this photo can be seen here (click below photo for the viewer to really zoom in)
    https://digital.library.wayne.edu/di...=wayne:vmc7820
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-01-17 at 08:53 PM.

  7. #7

    Default

    EatsideAl, you are the best.

  8. #8

    Default

    Thank you for taking an interest and posting that link, 3d123. My friend will be so happy to see those photos!

  9. #9

    Default

    EastsideAl, you are wonderful!

    This is the right building, huh?
    https://digital.library.wayne.edu/di...type=ImageView

    The street sign reads "Third" and "Porter" and the sign behind the rowhouses reading "Heiler's CAFE LIQUORS" is much clearer in the second. Boy is my friend going to be excited to see this... Thank you so very much!!!

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Oona View Post
    EastsideAl, you are wonderful!

    This is the right building, huh?
    https://digital.library.wayne.edu/di...type=ImageView

    The street sign reads "Third" and "Porter" and the sign behind the rowhouses reading "Heiler's CAFE LIQUORS" is much clearer in the second. Boy is my friend going to be excited to see this... Thank you so very much!!!
    That's it. According to the maps I have 1411 would be the third house up from the corner of Porter.

  11. #11

    Default

    Would anyone know of photos of the Chinese Tea Garden restaurant on Woodward Ave? My friend's grandfather owned it and my friend and i joke that "chinese grandchild" is a euphamism for "slave laborer."

    I've found two advertisements for it. One says it was at 1516 Woodward and the other says it was next to the Woodward Arcade. My friend says the restaurant was 3 stories, but the truth could be that it was in a 3 story building. My friend's memory is rusting up, so I take things with a bit of a grain of salt. I'm doing this to stimulate that memory, the way they say to do for older adults and my friend is enjoying talking about Chinatown. Very proud to be Chinese!
    Last edited by Oona; February-02-17 at 03:06 PM.

  12. #12

    Default

    It mentions bi-level Chinese Tea Garden here.
    http://detroitchinatown.org/articles/fieldnotes/
    Lots of interesting reading.

  13. #13

    Default

    https://www.google.com/maps/place/15...!6m1!1e1?hl=en

    Guessing it was in the 3 story building next to John Varvatos.

  14. #14

    Default

    This may be a little before even your friend's time, but here is a 1926 menu from the Chinese Tea Garden restaurant on Woodward:

    http://detroithistorical.pastperfect...E-122544763630

    Someone on Ebay seems to be currently selling a 1930s wine & drinks list from that restaurant. You can mouse over and zoom in on it for a better view.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/1930s-Tea-Ga...wAAOSw4GVYPPru

    The restaurant was indeed in the space next to the Schwankovsky Temple of Music/Wright Kay/John Varvatos building as posted by Gumby above. Here is what is said to be a 1919 view of it from WSU's Virtual Motor City site. The restaurant isn't easy to see, but if you zoom in you can clearly read the large sign.

    https://digital.library.wayne.edu/digitalcollections/mirador_full.php?id=wayne:vmc75610&type=ImageView

    It seems that this restaurant lasted a pretty long time. From the sources I can find it seems to have been there from about 1918 to about 1945. The post WWI era was a time when Chinese food was very popular in the U.S., and photos of Detroit in that era show "chop suey" signs all over downtown. Some of these Chinese restaurants were very large and quite elegant, lavishly decorated to appeal to the taste for the "exotic" of increasingly well-off Detroiters, and offered live entertainment. In fact, the famous Greystone Ballroom was originally built to be one of these Chinese food and entertainment "palaces".
    Last edited by EastsideAl; February-03-17 at 01:50 PM.

  15. #15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EastsideAl View Post
    This may be a little before even your friend's time, but here is a 1926 menu from the Chinese Tea Garden restaurant on Woodward:

    http://detroithistorical.pastperfect...-122544763630s
    The link is broken - however, deleting the "s" at the end of the link brings up the menu.
    These links, and the accompanying history associated with them, is very interesting. Thank You for posting.

  16. #16

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by clubboss View Post
    The link is broken - however, deleting the "s" at the end of the link brings up the menu.
    These links, and the accompanying history associated with them, is very interesting. Thank You for posting.
    Thanks. Link corrected.

  17. #17

    Default

    This is a wonderful thread! I loved going to both Chinatowns growing up in Detroit. Does anybody remember Chung's? It used to be on Third, I think. I have an old newspaper clipping about the 2 Chinatowns; I'll try to find it. I miss Cantonese cuisine so much. Hunan and Szechuan just doesn't compare.

  18. #18

    Default

    Hi, Kathy. My family owned Chung's. Thanks for the kind words. Glad you had happy memories!

  19. #19

    Default

    I'm not overly sophisticated to the variables of local Chinese fare ala Cantonese vs. Hunan.... Szcehuan? I mainly do the standard General Tso, extra veggies and Egg Foo Yung circuit.

    What are the hallmarks and specifics of Cantonese? Thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by kathy2trips View Post
    This is a wonderful thread! I loved going to both Chinatowns growing up in Detroit. Does anybody remember Chung's? It used to be on Third, I think. I have an old newspaper clipping about the 2 Chinatowns; I'll try to find it. I miss Cantonese cuisine so much. Hunan and Szechuan just doesn't compare.
    Last edited by Zacha341; March-12-17 at 09:32 AM.

  20. #20

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Zacha341 View Post
    I'm not overly sophisticated to the variables of local Chinese fare ala Cantonese vs. Hunan.... Szcehuan? I mainly do the standard General Tso, extra veggies and Egg Foo Yung circuit.

    What are the hallmarks and specifics of Cantonese? Thanks.
    Your posts are making me hungry....

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Instagram
BEST ONLINE FORUM FOR
DETROIT-BASED DISCUSSION
DetroitYES Awarded BEST OF DETROIT 2015 - Detroit MetroTimes - Best Online Forum for Detroit-based Discussion 2015

ENJOY DETROITYES?


AND HAVE ADS REMOVED DETAILS »





Welcome to DetroitYES! Kindly Consider Turning Off Your Ad BlockingX
DetroitYES! is a free service that relies on revenue from ad display [regrettably] and donations. We notice that you are using an ad-blocking program that prevents us from earning revenue during your visit.
Ads are REMOVED for Members who donate to DetroitYES! [You must be logged in for ads to disappear]
DONATE HERE »
And have Ads removed.