LC State Library Building

News Release

Beuk Aie Temple exhibit reopens with reception May 9

The LCSC Center for Arts & History (CAH) is celebrating the reopening of the Beuk Aie Temple exhibit with a reception on Thursday, May 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the Center for Arts & History, 415 Main Street, Lewiston.
The exhibit has been closed to the public since March of 2009, after a fire struck the main floor of the CAH, forcing the entire gallery to close until the Center reopened September 10, 2010. During restoration of the building, the Beuk Aie Temple had to be redesigned to accommodate the installation of a new fire escape for the upper floor.
The Beuk Aie Temple, redesigned and restored by Garry Bush and Lyle Wirtanen with direction from scholars Chuimei Ho and Priscilla Wegars, is ready for the public to explore its history and beauty.
The exhibit redesign and restoration has been made possible by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Idaho Humanities Council, the Idaho Heritage Trust, the Idaho State Historical Society, and through gifts from Penny Lee and the family of Gorden Lee, the Lewis-Clark State College Foundation, Lee and Deanna Vickers, Randy and Kathy Martin, and Garry and Barbara Bush. CAH also gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the families of Floyd and Michael R. Mossler for the loan of objects from their private collections
The Lewiston Chinese lost their original temple building to an accidental fire in 1875; a replacement temple was resurrected later that same year. In 1887 the Chinese Massacre at Deep Creek claimed the lives of nearly three dozen gold miners from the Chinese community. In 1888, Lewiston's Chinese community began collecting money to build a new temple in a different location at 513 C Street. In May of 1959, members of the Beuk Aie Temple Society sold the temple building and grounds to the Lewiston Morning Tribune to facilitate the newspaper’s expansion of their printing plant.
The Beuk Aie Temple exhibit first opened its doors in 1991 after the Temple Society board members agreed to transfer the remaining temple artifacts to the Lewis-Clark Center for Arts & History where they were to be conserved and re-erected in an interpretive display that serves as a legacy and tribute to Lewiston’s Chinese pioneers.
The reception for the Beuk Aie Temple exhibit reopening is made possible through sponsorship from LCSC Community Programs. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are graciously accepted.
For more information about the exhibit visit
CAH or call 208.792.2243.