In 1986, the San Diego Chinese Historical Society was established in order to preserve and uphold Chinese and Chinese American history and culture. In the 1990’s, the local Chinese community learned that the building that had served as their church and school was slated for demolition. In response, the Historical Society rallied to save the historic mission building. Finally, the City approved plans to relocate the building to the heart of old Chinatown, at the corner of J Street and Third Avenue.
Following relocation and renovation, the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum was finally born in 1996. SDCHM has grown from its humble beginnings to encompass 3 downtown facilities and a Chinese-style garden. Over the past 20 years, the museum has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors, collected thousands of ethnographic artifacts, and hosted hundreds of educational programs and exhibitions. Today, SDCHM remains a platform to celebrate multiculturalism, enrich the community, and showcase San Diego as an international and cultural tourist destination.
The museum’s exhibits share the heritage of San Diego’s Chinese community and the essence of Chinese arts and culture through historic photographs, miniature models, ancient artifacts and explanatory text. Special events also celebrate holidays like the Chinese New Year, the Moon Festival, and Veterans Day.
Current & Upcoming Exhibitions
Ongoing and Upcoming Exhibitions
- Please look for our 1st and 3rd Saturday online lectures at our Events page.
Tours and Lectures
Asian Pacific Historic District Walking Tour | Every second Saturday of the month, 11 am – 12:30pm ( Please Call to Confirm)
- Explore Old Chinatown and Japanese and Filipino neighborhoods in San Diego’s old Stingaree red light district. Space is limited and reservations are recommended. Please RSVP by calling the museum 619-338-9888 or emailing email@example.com. The tour is included with museum admission, and is co-sponsored by the Asian Pacific Historic Collaborative.
Monthly Lectures and Talks
- Explore intriguing aspects of Chinese arts, culture, and history in a series of monthly lectures hosted in the Museum’s Chuang Archive & Learning Center at 541 2nd Avenue. For more details on specific lectures, please visit our events calendar at https://www.sdchm.org/events/month/. Museum lectures are free for members and a suggested donation of $5 for non-members.
Educational Programs and Special Tours
- The Museum’s Educational team regularly hosts tours for special interest groups, educational groups, and visitors. Educational programming aligns with the Common Core standards of California, and covers topics such as: Chinese American history, ancient Chinese History, and San Diego Chinatown History.
- The SDCHM has served: The Barnard School, Girl Scouts San Diego, The Monarch School, The Riley School, San Diego City College, The Chinese Academy of San Diego, and many other institutions of greater San Diego County.
- Contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> for inquiries regarding the educational programs that San Diego Chinese Historical Museum has to offer!
Visit San Diego Chinese Historical Museum
404 Third Avenue
San Diego , CA 92101
Fridays, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays, from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sundays, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00
404 Third Avenue, San Diego, CA