Overview

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 asked 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 the New York City Department of Transportation, Chinatown Partnership and Van Alen Institute. It 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.

Request for Proposals

Thank you to all who responded to the Request for Proposals. The competition is now closed, and the proposals are being reviewed by the RFP Evaluation and Advisory committees.