Gateway Park reopens in Chinatown ceremony
Chinatown Gateway Park reopened yesterday in a ceremony at Hotel and Bethel streets.
Mayor Mufi Hannemann announced during the ceremony a new partnership to maintain the park and plans for a memorial to Chinese political and revolutionary leader Sun Yat-sen.
Twelve weeks ago, workers began removing banyan trees whose roots were threatening to crack the faux rocks in the park's water feature, said Hannemann. He said the city is committed to maintaining the "wonderful oasis amid the concrete of downtown."
"Our commitment to you is to make Chinatown a leading arts and cultural center in the world. The transformation of this park is a key step toward that," said Hannemann.
Three of the park's neighbors — the Hawai'i Theatre, Plumbers and Fitters Union Local 675 and Indigo Restaurant — have agreed to help the city maintain the park.
The park has been plagued by vandalism as well as design and maintenance problems. The city departments of Design and Construction, Parks and Recreation, and Facility Maintenance have been working together to solve many design and maintenance issues, Hannemann said.
The Hawai'i Foundation also approached the city about placing a privately funded tribute to the late Sun Yat-sen in the park.
Sun once lived in the neighborhood and attended Iolani and Punahou schools.
He led a revolution against imperial rule and is considered the father of modern China.