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‘Gateways to Chinatown’ initiative is accepting design proposals

The new markers will will function as a public space that honors the history and rich culture of Chinatown and Little Italy

Van Alen.

The city’s Department of Transportation has announced a collaboration with the Van Alen Institute and the Chinatown Partnership to launch an initiative that will bring new landmarks to Chinatown. Gateways to Chinatown, as the project has been named, is giving designers the rare chance to construct new a neighborhood marker at the nexus of Chinatown and Mott Street in Little Italy. The marker will function as a public space that honors the history and rich culture of the two neighborhoods.

Per a press release, Gateways to Chinatown has been a project in the making for two years and involved getting feedback from residents and visitors before determining its course of direction. One of its primary objectives is to “understand how a neighborhood gateway can respond to tradition as well as adapt to ever-changing cultural demographics” while fostering a sense of connectivity and stimulating economic development.

The new structure will be situated at the Canal Street Triangle where Baxter, Walker, and Canal streets converge, replacing a bright red kiosk and accompanying a small strip of green space.

“Canal Street, one of New York City’s busiest thoroughfares, deserves a culturally significant gateway that can welcome the millions of shoppers and tourists that annually flock to the pulsing streets of Chinatown and Little Italy,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg.

The initiative is currently encouraging design teams “from a range of backgrounds” to submit proposals and plans to select a winner in the latter portion of 2017. Once in place, the team will be given a $900,000 budget and will get to work on crafting the new structure in early 2018. Proposals are being accepted now through June 19.