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Pui Tak Center

Address

2216 S. Wentworth Ave.

Neighborhood

Chinatown

Architect

Michaelsen & Rognstad, 1928

Website

puitak.org

Description

The neighborhood's most iconic building is the former home of the On Leong Merchant Association, the leading Tong that spearheaded the move of Chinatown from Van Buren and Clark streets to its present location in 1912. The firm of Michaelson and Rognstad were chosen to design the 1928 building that both referenced classical Chinese elements and adjusted to the association's modern needs. Colorful terra-cotta decorates the building with Chinese motifs. Typical of traditional Chinese architecture, the building features tile roofs and wide overhanging eaves. Red, symbolic of joy, and jade green, symbolic of affluence, are the dominating colors of the building.

Originally, the building was used as a community center and court room to settle disputes arising among neighborhood merchants and residents. Today, Chinese Christian Union Church (owner) holds religiousĀ programsĀ on Sundays and Pui Tak Center serves Chinese immigrants adult education, youth and community programs during the rest of the week..