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Collection Guide
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Leong (Gilbert, Florence, and Leslee See) Collection
mssLeong  
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Collection Overview
 
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Description
Documents, correspondence, photographs, clippings, and other materials related to the Leong and See families, prominent members of the Los Angeles Chinese community and early business owners in Los Angeles Chinatown. Collection includes items related to individual Leong and See family members, as well as the restaurants and other businesses they operated in Chinatown. There are also materials related to the history and development of Los Angeles Chinatown and the Chinese community in Los Angeles, including Chinatown businesses, churches, and schools, and Chinese American artists, particularly Tyrus Wong.
Background
Gilbert Leong (1911-1996) was an architect, artist, and founder of East West Bank; Florence (Sissie) See Leong (1909-1989) was a prominent Chinatown community leader. Their daughter Leslee Leong (b. 1945) is the current owner of the F. Suie One Co. antiques store in Pasadena, California, a family business since the 1890s. Florence See's father Fong See arrived in the United States from China in 1871, and partnered with his wife Letticie (Ticie) Pruett See to open a shop in Los Angeles Chinatown, which evolved into the F. Suie One Co. The See family also owned and operated the popular Chinatown restaurant Dragon's Den from 1935 to 1943. Gilbert Leong's parents Leung Jeung and Woo Choi Lan were married in China and later settled in the United States. Woo Choi Lan taught Chinese classes to children in Los Angeles and was heavily involved in her church community, while Leung Jeung started a produce business. The Leung family later owned and operated two restaurants: Chinese Garden in Hollywood, from 1928 to 1933, and Soochow in Chinatown, from 1933 to 1968. Both families initially resided in Chinatown, and later moved to other areas of Los Angeles while keeping close business ties to Chinatown. Artist Tyrus Wong was close to both families, attending art school with Gilbert Leong and designing the menus for Dragon's Den.
Extent
38.44 Linear Feet (48 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Restrictions
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.
Availability
Open for use by qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact Reader Services at the Huntington Library for more information.