International Hotel Manilatown Center
Event center located in the heart of multicultural communities and ethnic enclaves of downtown San Francisco, California. The building serves as a venue space for the expression of Filipinos in the Bay area as well the preservation and advocacy of their arts and culture; social justice and economic equality; and history.
Just down the "Red Block" from the International Hotel Manilatown Center stood the original international hotel (I-Hotel), which provided many Filipinos—one of lowest on the socioeconomic ladder for Asian Americans—with affordable housing in an expensive urban environment. New development projects in the community after the 1960s threatened the current residents with eviction from an establishment which protected the rights and cultures of not only Filipinos but other minority populations in the United States. Despite clashes among law enforcement, tenant activists, and community protesters, eviction of the original I-Hotel was forced upon the residents, many of which were elderly occupants, in the early morning of August 04, 1977.
The construction of a new international hotel (I-Hotel) in 2003 reminded the predominantly Filipino population of this ethnic enclave about the housing conflicts that occurred in downtown San Francisco back in the late 1970s. Today, the current I-Hotel's community center memorializes the original I-Hotel from its art galleries and cultural events while continuing to honor the tradition of providing affordable housing to both the underprivileged and marginalized groups of San Francisco's Manilatown.
This multi-storied apartment complex has a ground floor community center and a building facade matching the color scheme of San Francisco's Kearny street. The first five floors are primarily composed of tan bricks, likely paying tribute to the original I-Hotel, especially with the preservation of blank wall to display vibrant street art. The remaining nine floors follow contemporary architecture practices in being composed of whiter concrete with intervals of modern glass windows for residents to enjoy the San Francisco skyline.