Historic Hotel Tour
On our 45-minute guided tour of the East Kong Yick Building, see the real history of Seattle -- layers of immigrant stories over time that has been authentically preserved and recorded. Retrace the footsteps of early Asian Pacific American pioneers and explore the places that helped make Seattle their home.
- A real 1910 shop that sold imported goods and tickets to the Blue Funnel Line steamship.
- A Chinese American family association room with its original tin ceilings and mahjong game room, a place where Asian immigrants and residents came together to gather, network and socialize.
- Apt 507, the living room of Au Shee who raised her children and grandchildren during the challenging and changing times of the 1920s-1980s.
Available Tuesday-Sunday at: 10:30am, 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, and 3:30pm. Sign up for your tour time onsite at the admissions desk. For all ages.
"Au Shee muttered to herself as her grandson entered the apartment. On his 7-year-old head was a 2-inch gash. She reached into the cupboard and brought out a jar of an unidentified "purple powder" and tapped just enough to fill the wound. The bleeding stopped, but as Au Shee’s daughter, the boy’s mother (a medical professional) took a look at the purple powder, there was a standoff between traditional and Western ideas of medical care."
Enter Au Shee’s living room, a place where she kept her secrets close and her family and friends closer. Get a personal glimpse into the strength and endurance of Au Shee, a Chinese immigrant woman living on the margins, but successfully raising a family and integrating into the society of Seattle's Chinatown. Her life story was touched by major change in the neighborhood and the policy affecting Chinese immigrant women in the 20th century.
Developed in partnership with Au Shee's relatives as well as community members who knew her and her family. The final exhibition design, a recreation of the apartment space, was an artist collaboration with writer Elana Lim, designer Randy Lim, and multimedia installation artist Robb Kunz, based on photographs, documents and oral histories of family members.