People Demand the Preservation of Chinese Cultural and Community Center
On Feb. 14th, 2019, PCDC staff found a notice posted on 125 N. 10th Street, stating that the owner of the building has applied for a construction permit to demolish the property entirely or significant part. The property is the former Chinese Cultural and Community Center, a significant historic landmark in Chinatown.
PCDC took actions immediately. We contacted the Historical Commission and Chinese Media, spreading word through social media, and started a petition to oppose the demolition of the building. During PCDC’s outreach effort, much of the Chinese community was shocked to hear about the threat of demolition, and expressed enthusiastic support towards our efforts.
The Chinese Cultural Center is a registered Historic Building in Philadelphia. Any alterations to the building are subject to review by the Philadelphia Historical Commission (PHC). According to the application, the applicant intended to demolish the whole building structure except for the facade and roof. The PHC staff has recommended denial, because the amount of demolition would threaten structural and historic integrity of the property. 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 owners met with PCDC staff after the public outcry to explain that it was never their intention to demolish the building. In fact, they claimed that they did not know about the demolition permit, and expressed a desire to retain the right talent to preserve and protect the building. They had applied for a postponement of for the public meeting scheduled for Feb 19th, and intend to submit a revised plan.
PCDC encourages all parties who would like to express their opinions on this matter to attend the public meetings at Historical Commission. The meetings are scheduled as follow:
Architectural Committee: March 26th, 2019, 9 AM
Historical Commission: April 12th, 2019, 9 AM
Address: 1515 Arch Street, Room 18-029