Pui Tak Center
2216 S. Wentworth Ave.
Michaelsen & Rognstad, 1928
Chinatown's most iconic building is the former home of the On Leong Merchant Association, the leading Tong that spearheaded the Chinese community's move from Van Buren and Clark streets to its present location in 1912. The firm of Michaelson and Rognstad was 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 holds religious programs on Sundays and Pui Tak Center serves Chinese immigrants through adult education, youth and community programs during the rest of the week.
Presentations on Pui Tak Center (formerly On Leong Merchant Association) and Chicago's Chinatown will be made on the 3rd floor throughout the day on Saturday.