The Immigration Station at Angel Island State Park was the touchstone for a gathering of the President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) March 18. Hosted by Bay Area District Superintendent Danita Rodriguez, Angel Island Sector Superintendent Amy Brees and park staff, invited community representatives and civic activists joined the council on a tram tour of the island and a guided tour through the Immigration Station.
As part of a broader ACHP initiative to build a more inclusive national preservation program, experts on cultural heritage and historic preservation where gathered together to discuss ways that historic preservation can better meet communities’ needs to preserve and enhance historic places, history and culture at the local, state, and national level. Former California State Historic Preservation Officer Wayne Donaldson, now Chairman of the ACHP, led the session in this historic setting that saw hundreds of thousands of immigrants, the majority from China dealing with strict exclusion policies, pass through this site. Representing the department at the listening session were Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer Jenan Saunders, Cultural Resources Division Chief Leslie Hartzell, and State Historian II Kathleen Kennedy.
The President’s Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Listening Session’ panel with Asian and Pacific Islanders included Wayne Donaldson, chairman of the ACHP and former California State Historic Preservation Officer (far left) and Bay Area District Superintendent Danita Rodriguez (fifth from left.)
San Francisco State University professor Dr. Charles Egan explains Chinese poetry carved on barracks walls in Chinese men’s dormitory to ACHP attendees on a tour of the Angel Island Immigration Station.