Filed Under Butte

Pekin Noodle Parlor

Butte National Historic Landmark District

Butte’s Chinese community settled on this block in the 1880s. Dwellings, club rooms, laundries, restaurants, and stores selling Chinese goods crowded its thoroughfares and alleyways. This business block is a lone survivor displaying Asian roots. G. E. DeSnell designed the building on speculation for Butte attorney F. T. McBride. Upon completion in 1909, Hum Yow moved his Mercury Street noodle parlor to the second floor and soon owned the property. Upstairs noodle parlors were common in urban Chinese communities and the Pekin’s central stair and sign long beckoned customers. Close proximity to Butte’s once teeming red light district has fueled local legends about the Pekin’s curtained booths.  However, these booths were a fixture in Asian restaurants and simply offered diners privacy. The two ground-floor storefronts housed Hum Yow’s Chinese Goods and Silks and G. P. Meinhart’s sign painting business. Hum Yow and his wife Bessie Wong—both California-born first-generation Chinese—raised three children in the rear living quarters. The Hums retired to California in 1952 and several more generations of the family have maintained this landmark business.

Images

Pekin facade Source: Montana Historic Society Creator: Bryan Baldwin Date: August 8, 2022
Sign and Store Front Sign and Store Front Source: Montana Historic Society Creator: Bryan Baldwin Date: August 8, 2022
Pekin Noodle Parlor Pekin Noodle Parlor (PAc 91-51 B1 RollCBD08 F05). Front to side view of the building, facing west to southwest on South Main Street. View of the vacant lot to the north of the building (right in the photograph). B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1985
Pekin Noodle Parlor Pekin Noodle Parlor (PAc 91-51 B1 RollCBD08 F06). Front view of the building, facing west on South Main Street. Closer view of the architecture to include the diamond patterns near the top of the building. B&W. Source: Montana State Historic Preservation Office from the Photograph Archives at the Montana Historical Society Creator: Photographer unidentified Date: 1985

Location

117 South Main Street, Butte, Montana | Private

Metadata

The Montana National Register Sign Program, “Pekin Noodle Parlor,” Historic Montana, accessed December 7, 2022, https://historicmt.org/items/show/1981.