WASHINGTON (WDVM) — The Chinatown Friendship Arch has been restored, over 30 years after it was built.
The Friendship Arch is a well-known piece of architecture that was first built in 1986 after Mayor Marion Barry took a trip to Beijing. The arch was built as a symbol of the District’s sister city relationship with the capital of China.
Over time, it has become a symbol representing the community at large. Terry Lynch, with Downtown Cluster of Congregations, said, “It goes beyond a representation of the Chinatown community, but symbolizes the best of D.C. being an integrated, mixed-use city, welcoming to everyone.”
The restoration was completed by Alfred Liu, who originally designed the arch, and cost $1.3 million. Lynch said if the city would have maintained the arch as time went on, or put in money to restore it years prior when the Downtown Cluster of Congregations first requested, it would have cost significantly less.
The arch has over 7,000 glazed tiles, 7 pagoda-like roofs with carved and painted dragons and weighs over 125 tons.