Seattle has had three Chinatowns since the 1860s. The
present, third Chinatown was established in the early 1900s. This gate, or
Pai-Lau, marks the western entrance to Seattle's Chinatown.
For many years, the Seattle Chinese community has desired
a Pai-Lau (traditional gateway) to commemorate over 150 years of
Chinese American contributions, history, culture, ownership and
pride in their community. In 2003, a group of nine community leaders
established the Historic Chinatown Gate Foundation to oversee the
planning, fundraising and building of two matching gates. The Chong
Wa Benevolent Association, the Greater Seattle Chinese/Chinatown
Chamber of Commerce, the South Downtown Foundation and
MulvannyG2 Architecture provided seed money and technical support
Funding for gate construction poured in from community donations.
In addition, the Foundation received generous grants from the South
Downtown Foundation, the City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
and King County.
The unique Gate design resulted from the collaboration
between local and overseas talent, in response to specific site and City
requirements. Local companies donated, or provided at cost, most of
the construction materials. The ornamental tiles originated in Southern
China. Dedicated on February 9, 2008, this gate is a testament
unity and will of the Seattle Chinese community and a lasting
remembrance of all those who have preceded us.