Dozens rally to 'save' Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center

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Dozens of demonstrators came together to "save" the Phoenix Cultural Center near Sky Harbor. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Dozens of demonstrators came together to "save" the Phoenix Cultural Center near Sky Harbor. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Organizers said the new owner of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center is going to convert the site into an office and commercial space. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Organizers said the new owner of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center is going to convert the site into an office and commercial space. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
A Chinese architect helped build the center 20 years ago with special materials and supplies from China. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A Chinese architect helped build the center 20 years ago with special materials and supplies from China. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Demonstrators want the gardens preserved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Demonstrators want the gardens preserved. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Dozens of demonstrators stood outside in the heat in an effort they said to save the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center from being destroyed. 

They gathered outside of the center holding up signs near 44th Street and Van Buren Street on Sunday afternoon.

Organizers said the new owner of the Phoenix Chinese Cultural Center is going to convert the site into an office and commercial space. Demonstrators want the gardens preserved.

"We have invested in there, not just the financial part but the emotional part we have invested in there, we don't want to lose it. It could be gone tomorrow. If the developer says, we want to just demolish you - they could," said Garry Ong with Chinese United Association of Greater Phoenix.

A Chinese architect helped build the center 20 years ago with special materials and supplies from China.

"It's for everyone in the community to enjoy. It has a lot of history, it has a lot of culture here," Ong said.

He said there are only a handful of these types of gardens in North America.

"We're one of those. And can you imagine, we have this, and maybe tomorrow it's no longer here. It's really a sad story," Ong said.

Along with the gardens, there are numerous gift shops and Chinese restaurants in the area. It's the closest thing Arizona has to a Chinatown. It also hosts different Chinese events.

There is also an online petition for the cause. As of Sunday night, it has more than 3,200 signatures.

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