Boston Art Commission

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Click on thumbnails to view additional images of this piece:
  • Chinatown Gates, Unknown (2)
  • Chinatown Gateway.v2

Chinatown Gate

Artist:

Unknown

Location:

 

Neighborhood:

Chinatown

Type:

Architectural Element

Year:

1982

Medium:

Granite

Collection:

Boston Redevelopment Authority

Funders:

City of Taipei

Description:

Ceremonial gates, or pai lous, have been part of Chinese culture since the Song Dynasty of the 10th to 13th centuries. Structures like this one serve both as entryways to important sites and as commemorations for significant people and events. Additionally, many overseas Chinatowns feature a pai lou in order to symbolize the presence of a Chinese community. In 1976, Taiwan gifted the materials for this gate to the City of Boston, sister city of Taipei, in honor of America’s bicentennial. The Chinatown gate was not actually assembled until 1982, when it was dedicated during the August Moon Festival, a harvest celebration. Over the years, this gate has required extensive renovations, due in part to weather-induced damage and nearby construction on the Big Dig.

Audio Description: