Follow us:

The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

February 10, 2010 at 2:11 PM

Happy belated birthday to Chinatown’s gate

chinatowngate020910m.jpg
Feb. 9, 11:08 a.m. [Click on sketch to view larger]
The distinctive 45-foot tall archway that welcomes you into Chinatown at S. King Street and 5th Avenue S. turned 2 on Tuesday. The gate was unveiled on Feb. 9, 2008, as part of the Chinese New Year Celebrations, which fall on Feb. 13 this year.
Lead architect Paul Wu said this is the only Chinatown gate in the world with sideways columns. “It’s more like a pavilion than a flat, two-dimensional gate,” he said.
The uniqueness wasn’t on purpose, explained Wu. It came from some constraints that were incorporated into the design to follow Seattle Department of Transportation regulations. “We had to turn the columns sideways because the sidewalk is not wide enough,” Wu said. They also had to make it taller to meet clearance height.
For Wu, who led a team of architects here and in China, it was a privilege to be part of the project. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he studied in Oklahoma and moved to Seattle 30 years ago.
Wu said this gate is technically a West Gate, and there are plans to complete the project with an East Gate at 12th Avenue S. and S. King Street, where it will be visible from I-5.
Not only did I miss the current gate going up in 2008, I thought it had been here for years. When the second one goes up, now I know where I need to be.
Links
Chinatown gate is dedicated in Seattle on Feb. 9, 2008
New archway to distinguish Chinese International District
Historic gate provides another link to Chinatown’s roots

Comments

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►