A new public archway is going to be constructed in Sunset Park’s Chinatown, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Friday.
Sponsored by Beijing’s Chaoyang District, which has more than 100 archways within its district limits, the nine-roof Friendship Archway “will be an enduring source of pride as well as an attraction that brings people from around the world to enjoy all that Sunset Park has to offer,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in an emailed statement.
The 40-foot-tall, 12-foot-wide archway will be built on Eighth Avenue, between 60th and 61st streets, in the “Bu Chu Tou” style. It will mimic the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The original design of the structure, approved by the city’s Public Design Commission in July, will sport blue indigo tiles with sculptures of mythical creatures, including a golden dragon, and florals painted in a traditional Chinese pattern.
“We look forward to this archway giving Sunset Park the recognition it deserves — serving as an everlasting bridge between New York City and Beijing, two of the world’s greatest cities,” de Blasio said in a statement.
Celebrating the Chinese-American community in Sunset Park, the arch will have two inscriptions in its middle: “One Family over Four Seas” in Chinese and “Brooklyn — Beijing Chaoyang” in English.
The project was announced as part of City Hall in Your Borough, a new initiative by de Blasio to bring part of his core administration to all five boroughs as a way to increase the government’s presence in communities, especially the outer boroughs.
The archway received unanimous support from the neighborhood’s community board in 2015, which led to Adams committing $2 million in capital funds to build it, according to the mayor’s office.
The archway will span 40 feet across Eighth Avenue, illuminating the street with lights powered by solar shingles. In addition to the sustainable lighting, the project will also utilize locally sourced raw materials and labor, according to the mayor’s office.
“The Brooklyn Friendship Archway is extraordinarily meaningful to all people in our community, and it will also stimulate the development of local economic growth, tourism, cultural and entertainment industries,” said Paul P. Mak, president of the Brooklyn Chinese American Association.
The Department of Transportation will address vehicular and pedestrian safety concerns in a study before the installation of the archway, the mayor’s office added. It remains unclear when the project would be completed.