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What are some popular attractions in San Francisco's Chinatown?

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Quick Answer

Some popular attraction in San Francisco's Chinatown include unique architecture in the Bank of Canton and Bank of America buildings, historic churches, Chinese medicine herbal shops and authentic Chinese restaurants. Another popular attraction is the entrance to Chinatown via the Dragon Gateway. The Dragon Gateway was gifted to San Francisco and Chinatown in the 1960s from the Republic of China to commemorate the oldest and largest Chinese community in North America.

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Full Answer

Both the Bank of Canton and the Bank of America are popular attractions in Chinatown for their unique Chinese-style architecture and history. The Bank of Canton, formerly the Chinese Telephone Exchange, was built in 1891 where it held the area's for-public pay telephone. Although an earthquake destroyed the building in 1906 and it was closed in 1949, the Bank of Canton restored it in 1960. The outside of the Bank of America boasts gold dragons at the front and dozens of dragon medallions along the facade.

Another must-see historical building is the First Chinese Baptist Church, built and established in 1888. Like the Bank of Canton, it was destroyed as well in the 1906 earthquake, but soon rebuilt. Not only has it been a place of worship for over 130 years, but it also continually serves the community as a language-learning center.

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