The San Diego Chinese Historical Museum’s permanent exhibition is housed in a mission-style building designed by Louis J. Gill, nephew and protégé of famed architect, Irving Gill. For 30 years, this structure housed the Chinese Community Church (formerly the Chinese Mission), where English language classes were held for new immigrants who often lived in adjacent dormitories.
By 1960, the Chinese community had relocated from downtown San Diego and the congregation built a new facility on 47th Street. The adobe building on First Avenue fell into disuse and was slated for demolition in the 1980s, until Sally Wong-Avery, Dorothy Hom, and City Councilman Tom Hom, launched a campaign to rescue it. The Chinese Historical Society of Greater San Diego and Baja California was able to save the building and, eventually, relocate it to 404 Third Avenue. Click for more photos of the relocation.