According to local Chinese-English newspaper, Sampan:

On Luck Housing Development and Rogerson Communities propose to raze two structures at 15-17 and 25-31 Essex Street, and replace them with an eight-story building that would provide 75 units of low-income housing for elderly and physically handicapped Chinese immigrants.

But building the elderly housing project as planned would destroy nearly all that remains of the Liberty Tree District, which in recent years has been reduced from a six-building cluster to only three buildings and a preserved facade.

The project would raze a building at 15 Essex St., which was built in 1875, and the Hong Lok House at 25 Essex St., which dates back to the 1870s. Both buildings are considered examples of high Victorian Gothic architecture.

The developer has offered to maintain the facade of 15 Essex Street … and RE-INSTALL the facade of 11 Essex Street, a building that has already been torn down.

The decision as to whether or not the developer can tear down the buildings rests with the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, as the properties are on the National Register of Historic Places, although both the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Boston Landmarks Commission have their say in the matter.

In my opinion, we’ve lost so many historical buildings in that area, it’d be a shame if we lost another. I mean, the Pilgrim Theater is gone, the Gaity Theater is gone, and Playland is gone, too.

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Updated: January 2018

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