For Beloved Photographer Corky Lee, a Funeral Procession through his Achievements in Chinatown

Posted on: February 4th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Karlin Chan

Corky Lee, beloved photographer who focused his lens on Asian American culture, died last week after battling coronavirus. He was 74.

Lockdown measures ultimately changed plans for the funeral. In lieu of an indoor memorial service, the family instead arranged for a procession through Chinatown, stopping at ten significant locations in Lee’s life. It will begin 10:00am this Saturday (February 6) at the Wah Wing Sang funeral home, a business which owes its survival, in part, to Corky’s late father.

The other nine locations include:

70 Mulberry Street – the former Public School 23 that more recently housed community nonprofits until a fire destroyed the building last year

The American Legion, Post 1291 – served as commander advocating peace, community, and veterans’ rights.

54 Elizabeth Street (basement) – home of the “Basement Workshop” he helped organize that focused on civil rights and promoting the voices of Asian Americans in cultural arts.

Bayard and Elizabeth Streets – Corky captured photos of one of the largest protests in Chinatown, in response to police brutality (Peter Yew).

Confucius Plaza – Corky fought for fair housing and employment for Asian immigrants.

21 Pell Street – co-founded the 21 Pell Project to document the history and stories of Asian Americans.

Kimlau Square – Corky advocated and lobbied for the Chinese American WWII Congressional Gold Medal.

22 Catherine Street – home of the original Chinatown Health Clinic and another home of the Basement Workshop.

99 Madison Street – original headquarters of the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, for whom Corky presented photographic evidence supporting tenants’ rights.

Recent Stories

Rebirth of 63 Pitt Street is a 12-Story Residential Tower

A new luxury rental building is on the docket for Pitt Street. In due course, the pre-war tenement building at 63 Pitt Street will be destroyed to make way for a twelve-story apartment complex. Plans have been underway for the last couple years. However, Department of Buildings issued permits late last month for both the […]

Mugger Snatches Cash from 75-Year-Old in Grand Street Subway Station

A 75-year-old man was mugged last weekend inside the Grand Street subway station on the Lower East Side, police said. According to the police report, the victim was purchasing a fare at the MetroCard machine on the mezzanine at about 1:00pm on Saturday, when he was approached by an unidentified man. The perp allegedly began […]

Museum at Eldridge Street Reopens Next Month

The Museum at Eldridge Street is awakening from the pandemic slumber. After a year-and-change, the historic synagogue is planning to reopen on June 1. The biggest change is that all tours are now conducted in a digital, self-guided format, rather than with an in-person guide. The tours will be available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. […]

Broad Daylight Bike Theft Outside Luxury Condo on Orchard Street

Thieves are becoming more brazen on the Lower East Side. Case in point, this bike thief on Orchard Street in broad daylight. A resident captured video of this man clipping a lock at 11:30am outside the luxury condo building at 196 Orchard Street on Sunday morning. The thief used an angle grinder to cut the […]

‘Cock’ Fight at CB3 Over Rivington Street Club

The Cock fight appears to be heating up. A large, vocal contingent of Hell Square residents is diametrically opposed to the bar moving into the former home of Fat Baby on Rivington Street. At issue is the business itself, which has come under fire in recent years from Second Avenue residents for being an unruly […]