Old Chinese Telephone Exchange

The neighborhood's most exuberant example of chinoiserie rises in three graceful pagoda-like tiers above a glossy, red-pillared pediment. Now a branch of the Bank of Canton, the one-story building was opened as the Chinatown Telephone Exchange in 1909 to serve the community's 800 telephones. Female operators working the switchboards had to know how to speak Cantonese, Sze Yup and three other Chinese dialects, as well as English.

Useful information

Address:

743 Washington St., 94108 San Francisco

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