Philadelphia's sister city of Tianjin, China, provided the tiles, and a team of Chinese engineers and artisans built the pieces of the arch. Most of the team members were from the Beijing Ancient Architectural Construction Corporation, which is charged with maintaining historic monuments in and around China's capital, including the Great Wall. Officials from Philadelphia and Tianjin dedicated the gate in early 1984 as a commemoration of the friendship between the two cities and as a tribute to the cultural and economic contributions of Philadelphia's Chinese community. The large Chinese characters on the gate proclaim "Philadelphia Chinatown."
Adapted from Public Art in Philadelphia by Penny Balkin Bach (Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1992).