Stop the Demolition of the Chinese Cultural Center

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STOP NOW - Demolition Application for 125 N 10th Street, Chinese Cultural Center

Sign the petition to protect Chinatown from the demolition of a historic landmark. 

*NOTE: donation made after signing the petition will go to change.org instead of the petitioner.*

[UPDATE as of 2/21/2019]

The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) has met with the current owners of the Chinese Cultural Center. The owners claimed that they did not know about the demolition permit, and said that there might be misunderstanding between them and the architect. They also expressed a desire to retain the right talent to preserve and protect the building in their process to put the building back into productive use.

The Chinese Cultural Center is a registered Historic Building in Philadelphia. Any alterations to the building are subject to review of Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC). According to the application, the applicant intended to demolish the whole building structure except for the facade and roof. A diagram of this can be found on page 13 of 18, on the Historic Commission's website: https://www.phila.gov/historical/meetingsandevents/Applications/125-N-10th-St.pdf

The PHC staff recommended denial due to several reasons:

1.       The amount of proposed demolition is not acceptable. Even though the rear of the property is not visible from the street, it is the oldest portion of building. “The older portions of the building speak to the history and evolution of the property from its rowhouse past, through its conversion to a mixed-use property along a commercial corridor, and into the development of the Chinatown neighborhood.”

Originally constructed c. 1831 as Federal-style rowhouse, the building received a one-story side addition and three-story rear addition in 1906, and was reclad with a commercial storefront and a second story added to the side addition in 1910. The building’s existing elaborate façade and tile roof were constructed between 1967 and 1971 by the Chinese Cultural and Community Center, but the original gabled-roof building is still extant behind the facade. (PHC)

2.       The existing structure is critical for structural stability of the front façade and tile roof.

The application proposes to demolish everything beyond approximately 14 feet from the front façade, but does not provide an explanation to justify this amount of demolition or satisfactorily explain how the floor and roof framing will be supported in order to retain the facade and roof, assuming the amount of proposed demolition is even acceptable.

For more details, please read: https://www.phila.gov/historical/meetingsandevents/Applications/125-N-10th-St.pdf

Schedule for the public hearing:

  • Architectural Committee: March 26th, 2019
  • Historical Commission: April 12th, 2019

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If our community members want Chinatown to exist for our children, grandchildren, and future generations, we must stop the destruction of Chinatown and our historic buildings. The destruction of Chinatown will lead to the destruction of our history.

An application for the demolition of the Chinese Cultural Center was submitted to the City government. Will the applicant demolish the entire building? This must be stopped and we must tell the City government that it should forbid the demolition of this iconic and historic building, which is located at 125 N 10th Street. Also, the applicant should tell the community its intentions.

This building has a long history in Philadelphia. It attracted many dignitaries to its well-known Chinese New Year banquets. The design is unique and unlike any other building in Philadelphia, and it was one of Chinatown’s many beacons.

The foundation of Philadelphia’s Chinatown is built on the backs of every member of Chinatown. Our members made sacrifices to build our homes, associations, churches, temples, and businesses. Chinatown continues to be a gateway for immigrants. We must not let individuals disregard the importance of Chinatown, our institutions, and buildings.

Please tell the City government that we oppose the demolition of the Chinese Cultural Center. Beseech the government to deny the application to demolish this historic building.