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

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]

Revisiting the Story of the Eastern Dispensary at 75 Essex Street

The historic Eastern Dispensary Building at 75 Essex Street – home of Eisner Bros. – will soon undergo major redevelopment to add a ten-story protrusion to its rooftop. Fresh off this news, which broke earlier this month, we thought it appropriate to revisit a Bowery Boogie entry from nine years ago detailing the history of […]

Motorcycle Driver Killed in FDR Drive Crash

A motorcyclist driving the FDR Tuesday morning lost control of the vehicle and died after hitting the roadway, police said. The driver, identified as Brooklyn 36-year-old resident Christian Reyes, had been traveling southbound on the FDR Drive at 7:10am in the vicinity of Exit 3, when he struck the left edge curbing and guide rail. […]