First monument in Utah that commemorates the resilience and perseverance of the Chinese railroad workers at the Utah State Capitol

The Chinese Railroad Workers Descendants Association (CRWDA)  is proud to announce that the State Capitol Grounds Commission has approved our proposal to dedicate a new monument honoring the Chinese railroad workers on the Utah State Capitol grounds.

The monument’s unique and innovative design was created by Porheang Ear. Mr. Ear is an Associate Architect with MJSA Architects and along with MJSA Principal, Mr. Kin Ng, generously donated design assistance to the project as a public service.

Groundbreaking Ceremony

November 7, 2023

 This monument will acknowledge the contributions of over 12,000 Chinese railroad workers, whose strength, skills and determination resulted in the completion of the westward portion of the first Transcontinental Railroad in the United States.  The completion took place at Promontory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869. This final link in the transportation system of the United States opened the West, enriching the entire country through more accessible trade and a fast, inexpensive, reliable system connecting the West Coast to the East Coast.  It also opened up the tremendous wealth of foreign trade with the nations bordering the entire Pacific Ocean.

The monument will acknowledge the Asian pioneers of Utah who entered this territory just 12 years after the first LDS pioneers settled in Salt Lake Valley.



The design and concept of the monument focus on symbolism by utilizing building materials that are indicative of the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad.

六 – The Number 6

The number six has been selected for its significance to the duration and completion of the railroad as well as an important good luck number for the Chinese people. Hence, the total amount of the building materials is derived from the number six with six layers of material compressed together.


These materials will consist of two layers each of corten steel, granite, sandstone, bronze, and stainless steel along with the plaque.


The corten steel is symbolic in representing the rail line and tools that the workers used. Additionally, as the corten ages, its appearance will alter, symbolizing the history left behind by the individuals who partook in the construction of the railroad.

Right behind it are two natural stones: granite & sandstone which represent the Sierra Nevada Mountain where the construction of the railroad took place.

Lastly, anchoring all these materials together is stainless steel shaped like the state of Utah. It not only symbolizes the toughness of the individuals who worked on the railroad but the location in which it was built and completed. A circular opening on the granite will reveal the stainless steel symbolizing the location of this monument – SLC, UT.

All materials will be fastened together by 4 bolts with the stainless steel acting as the bearing wall by anchoring its L-shape leg into a 6” thick x 12” wide concrete base.

A small plaque will commemorate the actions of the Chinese workers and other immigrants, Native Americans, former slaves, Civil War veterans, and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

CRWDA thinks it is important to include Chinese text on the Monument Its inclusion may be the first time a living language other than English has ever been allowed at the Capitol.

We can’t do this without your support on this ambitious project to cover the cost of the construction, installation, and maintenance of this essential monument.  All donations are tax-deductible.



Loose translation:
“Cleave the mountain and carve out
a way, Lay [they laid] 10 miles of tracks in one day!

Chinese railroad workers had superb railroad building skill, May their good reputation and hard work be remembered still (always)”

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