Chinatown Square Plaza, 1997


Chinatown Square Plaza is in the southern central part of Chinatown Square, a block-long pedestrian mall built by a group of visionary Chinese-American businessmen in the 1990s.  The mall almost failed but finally caught on when one of its founders had a bright idea: they would offer shops to shop-owners for one year rent-free.  Shop-owners came and then shoppers, and the rest was history.  Today Chinatown Square equals Wentworth Avenue in economic activity and importance to local residents.

The plaza itself, which faces at least one very early Chinatown building on Archer Avenue, was built as a community gathering place.  The bronze zodiac sculptures around the edge were ordered from China, whereas the salmon- and teal-colored openwork steel pagodas are American in design and manufacture.

Chinatown Square