The "Friendship Archway"
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The "Friendship Archway"
(Chinatown, Washington DC)
The neighborhood of Chinatown in DC is almost about symbols: the Chinese characters, the Chinese newspapers, the shops full of Chinese souvenirs and, of course, the restaurants. Some people see this small community too small and fragile to survive, but it is still there, since the 1930s, with its identity and its annual Chinese New Year festival and parade, well known among Washingtonians and tourists who come to see it by the hundreds each year in February. The most outstanding and powerful of DC’s Chinatown symbols is definitely the great Friendship Archway, designed in 1986 by the local architect Alfred H. Liu, who emigrated from Taiwan to the United States as a teenager. The style is evocative of the classic Qing Dynasty (1649-1911), a period when China showcased its imperial splendor. This colorful, US$1 million work of public art includes seven roofs up to 60 feet high, 7000 tiles, and 272 painted dragons, and it is said to be the largest such single-span archway in the world. In 1993, a joint project of D.C. and Chinese governments funded the restoration of the Friendship Archway, made by artisans from China, which performed extensive repairs on the archway and repainted its decorations.
Canon EOS 40D; Lens: Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 EX DC HSM
12mm; 1/160 sec; f/11; ISO 200
Also by Riccardo Forte
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