The history of the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation (PCDC) is inextricably tied to the history of Chinatown. In 1966, the proposed Vine Street Expressway would demolish the Holy Redeemer Church and School, a valuable and cherished religious, education and recreation center for Chinatown. Subsequently, the first town meeting was held and a committee was formed which was later incorporated in 1969 as PCDC. A mandate was given to PCDC to represent Chinatown in matters of urban renewal and community development.
For over a quarter century, Chinatown has been buffeted by development projects such as the Ninth Street Ramp, The Gallery, and Foxwood Casino. Additional evictions were made for the Center City Commuter Tunnel. Altogether, Chinatown has lost over one-quarter of its land, housing and commercial stock.
As a result of PCDC’s efforts, a master study was done in 1975. This was the first constructive step taken in planning for the survival and needs of Chinatown. On the basis of the urban design plans and policy recommendations made for Chinatown in this study, PCDC began to initiate and implement many residential and commercial developments.