Government buildings comprise the southern end of this street; moving north, there’s a handy subway hub at Canal. The surrounding blocks are a mix of shopping and restaurants and other miscellaneous businesses, plus residential buildings. North of Canal, at 215 Centre, is one of the most important institutions in Chinatown: the Museum of Chinese in America. The museum, which grew out of an informal effort by a few individuals to preserve old signs, artifacts, and other ephemera being discarded in Chinatown, puts on exhibits relevant to Asian-American themes, and serves as an archive of the neighborhood.