In partnership with the DC Historic Preservation Office and the DC Preservation League through funding from the National Park Service’s Underrepresented Communities Grant Fund, the 1882 Foundation has convened a team of trusted scholars and community leaders in local and national public history and cultural preservation. Together we embark on an 18-month process of research to prepare a report that will start to build a framework for identifying and evaluating the significance and integrity of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) historic resources in Washington, D.C., and in doing so, encourage the nomination of eligible sites to the National Register of Historic Places. Similar historic context statements in other regions of the country are contributing to expanding awareness and public recognition of AAPI experiences as an integral part of American history.
With this inaugural historic context statement, we are centering community engagement to help us collect stories, experiences, photos, and artifacts that illuminate the places and spaces of significance for D.C. Asian American historical experiences. This collection of community resources will be used to inform the report and resource survey on Asian American historical sites in the District of Columbia. For this first report, we have been directed to focus on Chinese American and Korean American history between the late 1800s through 1990. We hope that this work will stimulate additional studies that continue to document and account for the region’s diverse AAPI histories.