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Attraction Address:

Arch and 8th Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

Modern Chinatown spans from Arch to Vine Streets, and from 8th to 11th Streets. The first semblance of the neighborhood appeared in 1870 in the form of a laundry on Tenth and Race Streets. The neighborhood slowly grew from this initial area to encompass much of its current boundaries. Common usage of the term "Chinatown" to refer to the neighborhood began around 1926. During various periods of urban renewal, starting in the 1960's, portions of Chinatown were destroyed in construction of the Independence Mall, Vine Street Expressway, Pennsylvania Convention Center, and other projects. In an attempt to preserve the remnants of Philadelphia's Chinatown, the neighborhood was incorporated in 1969 as the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation. This gave community and business leaders more say in matters of local development. While these conservation efforts and the general popularity of this area have staved off several recent development efforts, its proximity to Philadelphia's expanding downtown has continued to threaten the small neighborhood. Today, Chinatown functions as a popular tourist destination, a center of trade, and as a home to many of the city's finest ethnic restaurants and bakeries. It is also typically considered the heart of the Asian culture in the Delaware Valley metropolitan area.

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