National Register of Historic Places in Contra Costa County

National Register #13000792: Chung Mei Home Historic District 31 January 2016

The property is fenced. When we visited on a Sunday, the gates were locked and we could only view the buildings from a distance.

National Register #13000792
Chung Mei Home Historic District
1700 Elm Street
El Cerrito
Built 1935

The Chung Mei Home Historic District, on a hillside with views of San Francisco Bay, covers approximately four acres. In the Cantonese dialect, Chung means China and Mei means America

The home provided institutional care for neglected or abandoned Chinese-American boys.

In the early 20th century, anti-Chinese sentiments and a gender imbalance in Chinese immigration created a growing population of Chinese children who lived on the streets. Many were separated from their parents because of illness, unfit homes, or abandonment; because of the death of a parent; or because a parent had to temporarily return to China These children were banned from Caucasian institutions due to their ancestry.

A girls' orphanage had been established in San Francisco in 1874 and in Oakland in 1915, but until the Chung Mei Home was built there was no corresponding facility for boys.

From 1935 to 1954, the District served as the Chung Mei Home for Chinese Boys.

From 1956 to 1974 the District served as the home of the Western Baptist Bible College.

From 1974 to 1987, the District served as the Armstrong Preparatory School.

From 1987 to 2012, the District served as Windrush School.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination.

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