Chinatown House in Inland Empire named endangered historic site

A Rancho Cucamonga structure described as one of the last surviving examples of Chinese worker housing in the region has been included on a list of threatened significant historic sites.

The Chinatown House in Rancho Cucamonga -- one of the last vestiges of the Inland Empire city's Chinese American history -- has been named to the list of America's most endangered historic places by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The two-story building, which dates back to the early 20th century, is among 11 structures and other venues to make the trust's 2013 list. The building had recently been threatened with demolition by the city of Rancho Cucamonga and the Cucamonga Valley Water District, which owns the property. But Jo Lynne Russo-Pereyra, the water district's assistant general manager, said demolition plans have been tabled.


Stephanie Meeks, president of the trust, said in a statement that "with proper attention and stewardship, the Chinatown House can serve the community as a tangible reminder of the contributions of Chinese immigrant labor in our nation's history.... We strongly support finding a solution that better stewards its legacy."

Other structures and places on the 2013 endangered list include the Astrodome in Houston; the James River in Virginia; and the Worldport Terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Many sites on the list face demolition or development that would compromise its historic or natural integrity.

The Chinatown House once served as lodging for Chinese immigrant workers during the first half of the 20th century. The structure was designated a city landmark in 1985.