Fodor's Expert Review Chinese Six Companies
Once the White House of Chinatown, this striking building has balconies and lion-supported columns. Begun as an umbrella group for the many family and regional tongs (mutual-aid and fraternal organizations) that sprang up to help gold-rush immigrants, the Chinese Six Companies functioned as a government within Chinatown, settling disputes among members and fighting against anti-Chinese laws. The business leaders who ran the six companies (which still exist) dominated the neighborhood's political and economic life for decades. The building is closed to the public.