Author Archives: mahmed93

Appraisal: Community

The I-Hotel is first and foremost linked to the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, which manages its legacy. The rise of the I-Hotel is attributes to collaboration amongst various community organizations, which the Manilatown Heritage Foundation continues to do with community organizations, government agencies, and educational instituions through program collaboration in the spirit of its rebuilding. National interest in the site stems from the over 3.5 million Filipino Americans whose resilient history is embodied by the fall and rise of the I-Hotel. International interest stems from the over 7 million Filipino migrants who have relocated throughout the world, yet share a similar experience to the Manongs who occupied the I-Hotel after migrating to the United States. On a grander scale, communities of color can relate to the solidarity embodied in the I-Hotel movement. The I-Hotel’s current stewards serve on a volunteer basis and train future stewards through an internship program. However, the site struggles with garnering an investment from the next generation, as many of its current stewards are older. The Foundation relies on data provided by the narratives of the original tenants of the I-Hotel as well as accounts from others that were involved. The foundation invests much of its time and energy into educating its visitors via galleries, tours, and programs. Improvements can be made for visitors to access digital content via the internet. The shift in demographics has caused the I-Hotel to be located in a largely Chinese American community, and thus its programs do not directly serve its surrounding neighbors, raising a contestation between historic location versus current situation. However, it is not to be said that these neighbors are not welcome to these programs. A large Filipino American population resides in the SoMa district, and the location is easily accessible by means of public transportation. In terms of the site as a destination, there is a need for a clearer distinction to be made between the I-Hotel and the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, as the former is a residential building not affiliated with commemorating the site’s legacy. A docent can provide a guided tour of the new I-Hotel, however, much of the information to be grappled with is located in the Manilatown Heritage Foundation center, located in a separate space at the first floor of the I-Hotel. Because of the not-for-profit model of the Manilatown Heritage Foundation, it is accessible to various economic backgrounds, but not necessarily sustainable as a financial entity. It has a minimal impact on the environment and does not output a significant amount of waste from its programs. A primary constraint to implementation of further programming is funding. A potential threat could be the looming real estate prices in San Francisco and how that could play a role in the Manilatown Heritage Foundation maintaining its current space.


Interpretive Plan, Official Manilatown App

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 5.48.57 PMImplementation (Action Plan)

Theme: Community Organization and Outreach

This Interpretive plan incorporates the Team project theme of community organization and outreach via a mobile app. This format was chosen primarily to serve as a of encouraging the younger generation to be informed, involved, and further interested in the history behind the International Hotel and the Manilatown heritage Foundation with easy accessibility.
-The app also includes a feature that allows users to directly engage with displays by accessing audio testimonies and narratives to photographs by location based technology.
-The platform paves a pathway for the exchange of information that was not possible without the collective effort of the users of the app.
-The application permits visitors the chance to connect with other visitors as they post and share their stories thereby creating an online community that is specific to the International Hotel. -The app contributes to the International Hotel’s efforts to engage with the community in creative ways while emphasizing the importance of community. The Manilatown Heritage Center is the physical reminder of the Filipino-American community created by and for the community. The Manilatown Heritage Foundation app is an online extension of the continuous effort to preserve and promote the presence of the community for the community.

Short-term plan (5 years):
The short-term implementation plan of the Official Manilatown Heritage Foundation app involves broadening the user base of the app. The plan is to initially target tech savvy groups such as high school and college students in order to develop their interest in the International-Hotel and its tumulus past with renter’s rights. The app also caters to those individuals who are unable to physically visit the location through its gallery feature, which allows access to the archive database of countless photographs and other media. Through this plan the Manilatown Heritage Foundation can hope to see a new wave of visitors, online and offline, who are interested in the further preservation and conservation of the I-Hotel.

Long term-plan (25 years):
The long-term implementation plan of the Official Manilatown Heritage App is to eventually turn a portion of the users of the application into future stewards of I-Hotel. Due to the changing demographic of San Francisco, I-Hotel is faced with the issue of catering to a community that is no longer largely present in that location. The Official Manilatown app aims to start a movement to bring people back to the battleground of renter’s rights and highlight the significant role the I-Hotel played in them. The reestablishment of the Manilatown community requires a new generation of people who are willing to rally around the I-Hotel and further promote its presence. Moreover, the app’s long-term goal is to bring the I-Hotel to the attention of additional visitors and potential stakeholders who otherwise would have not have access to information of and provided by the International hotel.