International Hotel, San Francisco

The International Hotel was originally a three story brick flophouse located in San Francisco. The building became popular with Filipino laborers and overtime International Hotel emerged as the center of historic Manilatown.



Welcome to the International Hotel! The International Hotel is listed on the United States Register of Historic places and is located on 868 Kearny Street in the City and County of San Francisco. The International Hotel is symbolic for many different social and political movements in the history of San Francisco. As such it stands as an icon for immigration, social justice, community organization and the struggle against urban displacement. Historically, International Hotel served as a home for immigrant laborers from Asia–notably Filipino immigrants. In the second half of the center the International Hotel became the epicenter in a struggle for housing rights. For ten years residents of International Hotel organized to fight off eviction. The struggle for housing rights also galvanized local community activists and socially engage college students. However, residents lost the struggle to keep their homes and the building was demolished in 1979. But after the eviction and demolition, city officials organized to explore the possibility of revitalizing International Hotel in another form. In the 1980s, local community organizations and development agencies in San Francisco acquired the land and laid plans to develop a new building. The new building opened in 2005 as a residential complex for low income senior citizens and as a community spaces name the International Hotel Manilatown Center which is overseen by the Manilatown Heritage Foundation of San Francisco.

Now more than ever the narrative surrounding the International Hotel serves as a counterpoint to the historical verisimilitude of San Francisco’s rapidly changing urban landscape. Because it stands as a symbol for ethnic social justice and community organizing, the International Hotel Manilatown Center is an ideal place for new ways of storytelling and heritage making. Outlined in this proposal are four interpretive plans that use digital technologies to help inspire the next generation of activists and engage users of International Hotel in new and informative ways.

Current Points of Interpretation and Accessibility
Significance of the Place
Interpretive Plan and Multivocality
Implementation (Action Plan)
Community Organization and Outreach
The Gentrification and Rental Rights in San Francisco
Student Outreach & Internship Curriculum
Filipino Immigration and Social Mobility
Site Management Plan
International Hotel Site Management Plan


Project Members

Mario Castillo
Mario is a PhD student in Anthropology. He served as writer/editor for the International Hotel Management Plan. He expects to use elements of digital heritage in his dissertation work

causevoxicon.jpg Jon Caña
Jon Caña is a 4th year Media Studies undergraduate who aspires to one day have his own talk show. This course has challenged his notion of heritage and changed the way he navigates cultural exchange. He hopes to leverage his experience in Anthropology in his future endeavors in journalism and public relations.


Muniba Ahmed 
Hello, name is Muniba Ahmed and I am a 22 year old senior studying anthropology at UC Berkeley. As a Pakistani immigrant myself at the age of three, the experience of working on a site that directly connects with immigrants and the fight for equal housing was greatly impactful. Working on the International Hotel has inspired me to make a difference for the immigrants of my own community after finishing my pursuit of higher education. Long live the I Hotel!


Bonny KimIMG_0878
Bonny Kim is a Junior Media Studies major at University of California, Berkeley. She worked as a project manager for the I-Hotel management plan. This experience motivated her more in organizing projects, designing materials and collaborating with people. Bonny desires to publish a book, to host a Radio talk show in future and to advertise her book and radio show.

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