By Jessica Boehm | Arizona Republic
It’s been more than a year since the Chinese-American community learned that a developer planned to turn the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center’s ornate exterior into an sleek, modern office building.
The center was built in 1997 and does not qualify for historic preservation. Many of the shops and restaurants have struggled to stay afloat and eventually vacated the premises. And many of the cultural events that once graced the center have since moved to other parts of the Valley.
But to many Chinese-Americans, the center still represents an important and unparalleled testament to their culture in a city where cultural displays are few and far between.
Upon hearing of the renovation plans last summer, the community quickly organized in hopes of preventing the destruction of the center’s tile roof and other unique cultural decor.