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32 Mott St. General Store (former)

About this listing

General store that served the first wave of Chinese immigrants

Place Details

Borough : Manhattan
Neighborhood : Chinatown
Commercial, Historic Site & Museum

Place Matters Profile

The general store at 32 Mott Street, which closed in 2003, was a great place to shop for over 100 years. But for Chinatown's bachelor community in the days when the tourist trade was just beginning, the Mott Street General Store was also a place to sleep or store one's savings.

More valuable than mere groceries for the community of uprooted, single male workers were the general store's sleeping lofts, safes in the storerooms that provided an informal bank, and a wire rack that served as a post office to receive mail from home. The first Chinese immigrants to New York came without their families. Most spoke little English and faced discrimination outside of their small community. Social services provided by businesses like the Quong Yuen Shing general store were critical.

The initial wave of Chinese immigration to New York, from 1875 until 1882, like many exploratory settlements, brought mostly...

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On The Web

"Store Founded in 1891 Succumbs to Effects of 9/11" New York Times article


Paul J.Q. Lee

Nominator submitted place name to the Census of Places that Matter.

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