Seismic Troubles at Taoist Temple in San Francisco

May 8, 2002

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle

On May 8, 2002, The San Francisco Chronicle featured the story "Taoist women look for miracle; Seismic problems put their S.F. temple in trouble." The article reported "A group of elderly Chinese women, bent with age and toil, are trying to save their Taoist temple, built with hard work and belief in the gods. The building, at Washington and Powell streets, needs a lot of expensive earthquake reinforcing work and the women can't afford the repairs." The article noted that the Quong Ming Buddhism and Taoism Temple "is a nondescript brick building, but up three flights of stairs it is another world, fragrant with incense and the power of an ancient faith." Most of the women are over 80 and worked in garment factories when they were younger." They established two Taoist temples in San Francisco ... "through the work of the late Beatrice Bak, who came to the United States as an indentured servant. ... They saved their money from work in garment factories. It was hard work -- often 12 hours a day. ...In 1967, they had enough to buy the 1104 Powell St. building for $160,000. It is worth more than $1 million today." The elderly women have made an appeal to the public for assistance.