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Occasional Paper

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For the last fifty years, Boston’s Chinatown has been a shrinking community. Squeezed in by highways on two sides, its land is being gradually consumed by two medical institutions, Tufts University Medical School and New England Medical Center. During the last few decades, these two medical institutions have swallowed up nearly one third of the land in Boston’s Chinatown. Despite this, both medical institutions want more. In its latest attempt at institutional expansion, New England Medical Center made an offer to the City of Boston in early 1993 to acquire a small plot of land in Chinatown called Parcel C, for the purposes of building an eight-story, four hundred and fifty-five car garage on Parcel C.

No one could have foreseen what came next—an astonishing outcry and level of protest. Almost immediately, the Chinatown community launched a fierce protest against New England Medical Center’s attempt to buy Parcel C. Literally thousands in this small community came out in opposition against the hospital’s proposed garage.


An Occasional Paper for the Institute for Asian American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Boston.

Reprinted by permission from Amerasia Journal 21:3 (Winter 1995/1996): 99-119.



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