In Chinatowns across the U.S., tradition and history collide with luxury development
Penny and Jack Lee, now married, grew up in the 1960s and 1970s among the thousands of people of Chinese heritage who lived in apartments lining the main stretches of Washington, D.C.’s bustling Chinatown.
“Chinatown was very bright, vibrant,” Jack Lee recalled. “All of our recreations ended up being in the alleys of Chinatown.” They felt it was a safe haven, he said.
But the neighborhood didn’t stay the same for long. First came a convention center in 1982 that displaced many in the majority Chinese community. Then, in 1997,...