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The question of the future location of Chinatown was the subject of an animated discussion at the meeting of the general committee yesterday. The complete destruction of the Chinese quarter by fire has given rise to a hope that the Chinese quarter may now be established in some location far removed from the center of town, and James D. Phelan heads a movement to establish it at Hunter's Point.

The matter came up yesterday when Rev. Filben, chairman of the committee on the housing of the Chinese, reported that four or five blocks of vacant land at the foot of Van Ness avenue had been prepared, under the sanction of the Federal authorities, for the temporary accommodation of all the Chinese in the city. Dr. Filben said that adequate sanitary arrangements had been provided, and that the camp was well equipped in all respects for the comfort of all the Chinese now here or that may return from Oakland in the near future. He suggested that the civil and military authorities proceed at once to gather all the Chinese and establish them in one colony at the location.

Phelan objected strenuously to the concentration of the Chinese at the foot of Van Ness avenue. Although the place was designed merely as a temporary camp he said it would be extremely difficult to dislodge them if they once Sanestablished themselves in that locality. Property owners would find, he declared, that it was an extremely profitable thing to house Chinese. He favored moving the Chinese at once to Hunter's Point. Dr. Filben, A. Ruef and others explained that the sole purpose in establishing the temporary camp at the foot of Van Ness Avenue was to get all of the Chinese together so that they might be moved more advantageously to permanent quarters when secured.

Garret McEnerney said: "I think it will prove difficult for the Chinese to get building permits from the Mayor and the Board of Public Works for the erection of any permanent structures at the foot of Van Ness avenue. I would like to buy a long pool on that."

Gavin McNab did not favor the establishment of the permanent Chinatown at Hunter's Point, which, he pointed out, was just across the line in San Mateo county. he said San Francisco needed the property taxes and poll taxes of the Chinese more than ever before, and did not believe the city could afford to entertain an Oriental city just outside its boundaries.

The proposition to gather all Chinese in the temporary camp at North Beach was finally adopted and a committee consisting of A. Ruef, James D. Phelan, Jeremiah Deneen, Dr. Ward and Dr. Filben was appointed to take charge of the question of the permanent location of the Chinese quarter.

San Francisco Chronicle
April 27, 1906

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