Author Archives: bonnykim
This Interpretative plan demonstrates the theme of gentrification and rental rights through the hologram system on the street along the I-Hotel. The most recent gentrification happened during the urban renewal planning and redevelopment movement of the mid 1960s, when the I-hotel was targeted for demolition. Now, the spread of urban renewal plan in San Francisco’s Financial District turned to the I-Hotel continues a long chain of displacement for residents of low-cost residential housing.
This project, “I-Hotelogram,” will be effective to put public pressure on a landlord who is doing an Ellis Act eviction. According to San Francisco Tenants Union, under the Ellis Act, landlords may evict all tenants in a building in order to take the building off the rental market by the unconditional right. Residents in San Francisco are faced with Ellis Act nowadays along the same line with residents in I-hotel were before. Unless the law requires the landlord to socially redeem themselves, the mass media or neighbors can make arguments to support the tenant’s side. We can set up visual, audio and movement senses through this hologram.
Short-term plan (5 years):
I-Hotelogram, which is setting up the hologram of interviews from people who got evicted by landlords, state law, and governments could engage residents in the I-hotel including residents in San Francisco and California. It would be installed of the once sprawling 10-block Manilatown and the effects urban renewal had that led to its demise. The short term action plan of the I-Hotellogram could encourage tourists to come to see special hologram. It could arouse tourists and visitors attention about the dangers of eviction fights related to living. In addition, the epidemic of evictions is connected to activism because it is one of the actions made by activists. Audiences could remember the lessons of elders in I-Hotel and sympathize with the expelled tenants for a while because of this audio, visual and hearing senses.
Long term-plan (25 years):
To contribute the Interpretive project to sustainability, we have to cooperate with smartphone application in order to increase accessibility. Since this interpretive project with hologram on the street, it might be hard to access if there are many people on the street or be crowded by other noises. Moreover, it is impossible to give an information to people who want to help I-hotel and San Francisco eviction but who are far away. Therefore, through smartphone application called “I-Hotelogram,” visitors as well as residents and landlords can access to the hologram and interviews about evictions. When they access to the hologram, they can feel that they are accessing to people who were evicted and how much the state law is harsh for them. Also in the long term, this project could empower and authorize immigrants, since when immigrants immigrated, they need a place to leave. For Filipinos, I-Hotel is the place of them.
The current Interpretive Plan exists to develop new interpretations of I-Hotel history and Filipino heritage and to develop interpretations at the Manilatown Heritage Foundation Community Center. Visitors can reach to the I-hotel by driving a car, walking or taking transportation. The MUNI 8X bus stops right in front of the center and it is only a 15-minute walk from the Montgomery Street BART and MUNI station.
When visitors walk inside the first floor of I-Hotel, where Manilatown Heritage Center is at, there is a new interactive single room occupancy exhibit, that demonstrates the actual Filipino housing, adopted from Chinese Historical Society of America’s Living in Chinatown project, and inspired by the Manongs of the I-Hotel who fit their entire lives into an 8×10 foot living space. All of furniture, books, clothes and even cigarettes came from initial I-Hotel and Philippines and are donated by an actual person who stayed in I-Hotel in the 1960’s. This mini-model of the I-Hotel tenant’s room presents nostalgia in people as well as demonstrates their confined life to visitors.
Besides the single room occupancy exhibit, pictures of I-hotel’s history, activist, and real brick of the initial I-Hotel come into sight. The center features an informational gallery on the fall of the I-Hotel, in addition to hosting community events that further promote its mission. On the Club Mandaly, people could enjoy learning Ballroom and Latin dance from Benito Santiago at the I-Hotel. Also, Carlos Zialcita, who is one of the influential members of the community explore the rich musical, literacy, fashion and cultural history of the San Francisco Bay Area by being a host on Jazz Meryenda Pop-up Jazz club. In addition, the current Board-president Tony Robles, a poet, writer and prominent activist lead rest of the events on Club Mandalay with reading his latest book, Cool Don’t Live Here No More to emphasize his generational memory of San Francisco where alienation, deportations, and technological invasions.
They also show a movie about I-hotel called “Fall of the I-Hotel” by Curtis Choy for visitors in order to inform them about the incident from the past, especially 1977 Elder Filipino and Chinese tenants standing up to developers to fight eviction from their homes in San Francisco’s Manilatown neighborhood. In addition, the director describes the story of people who got evicted fights, their eviction and the effects it had on the city’s tenants’ rights movement as well as the tenant’s issues now being faced and how they can fight eviction in their neighborhood and get involved. These events help advance a group’s mission, in the spirit of the tenants of the I-Hotel and celebrated the anniversary of the fall of the International Hotel, a mass eviction etched in the psyche of San Francisco.