Gateways to Chinatown is an initiative seeking innovative proposals to plan, design and construct a symbolic and functional landmark at the nexus of Manhattan’s Chinatown and the southern entrance to Little Italy’s historic Mulberry and Mott Streets.

The project will provide a new marker for Chinatown, Little Italy, and the surrounding neighborhoods in Lower Manhattan to engender pride of place, foster connectivity and cultural and social identity, and stimulate economic development. Straddling art and architecture, symbolism and function, the new structure and public space aims to become a vibrant place of exchange at the center of one of New York City’s most dynamic and historically-rich areas.

This iconic new structure and public space will be located on a triangular traffic island at a key pedestrian node bounded by Canal Street, Baxter Street and Walker Street. Gateways to Chinatown challenges design teams to reimagine the use and layout of this space, create a multifaceted meeting place and information center, and manage the transformative project from design through construction and installation.

The project organizers ask prospective design teams to consider the following questions:

  • How can the site serve as a “gateway” responding to tradition as well as adapting to ever-changing cultural and generational demographics and technology?
  • How can the gateway connect and bring together existing communities and create new opportunities for both locals and visitors to experience the area in fresh ways?
  • How can the gateway site link to other gateways within Chinatown, across the city and around the world?

This project was initiated by Chinatown Partnership and is made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is funded through Community Development Block Grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and the Manhattan Borough President’s Office.


Gateways to Chinatown invites teams and design firms from a range of backgrounds to submit proposals to transform the Canal Street Triangle. Both domestic and international teams may apply.

To propose your vision for the Canal Street Triangle gateway, create an account with the New York City Record, where you can download the Gateways to Chinatown Request for Proposals, and receive updates when new information is released. Details for submission can be found in the RFP document.

Due to the volume of written questions received, the proposal due date has been extended to 2:00pm Friday, June 30. The answers to the written questions have been posted to the Maps and Resources Page as Addendum #3 under “Addenda to the Request for Proposals.”

Project Announcement: April 19, 2017
Optional Pre-Proposal Conference in NYC: May 9, 2017
Proposal Due Date: June 30, 2017
Team Selection: Fall 2017
Design and Implementation: 2018