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Chatham Square

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chatham Square
Kimlau Square, a park located in Chatham Square; on left is Oliver Street; on right is St. James Place; the statue is Lin Zexu
Kimlau Square, a park located in Chatham Square; on left is Oliver Street; on right is St. James Place; the statue is Lin Zexu
Kimlau Square
Chatham Square is located in New York City
Chatham Square
Chatham Square
Location in New York City
Coordinates: 40°42′49″N 73°59′53″W / 40.71361°N 73.99806°W / 40.71361; -73.99806
CountryUnited States
StateNew York
CityNew York City

Chatham Square is a major intersection in Chinatown, Manhattan, New York City. The square lies at the confluence of eight streets: the Bowery, Doyers Street, East Broadway, St. James Place, Mott Street, Oliver Street, Worth Street and Park Row. The small park in the center of the square is known as Kimlau Square[1] and Lin Ze Xu Square.[2]


Chatham Square in 1905
Chatham Square in 1905

Chatham Square was named for William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham and Prime Minister of Great Britain before the American Revolution. Pitt Street in the Lower East Side is also named for him, and Park Row was once Chatham Street.[3][page needed]

Until about 1820, the square was used as a large open air market for goods and livestock, mainly horses. By the mid-19th century, it became a center for tattoo parlors, flophouses and saloons, as a seedy section of the old Five Points neighborhood. In the 20th century, after The Great Depression and Prohibition, the area was reformed.

Kimlau War Memorial

The Kimlau Memorial Arch was erected by the American Legion, Lt. B.R. Kimlau Post 1291 in 1961 to honor United States service members of Chinese ancestry who have fought and died serving their country. The arch is named after 26-year-old 2nd Lt. Benjamin Ralph Kimlau, an aircraft commander in the 380th Bombardment Group who was shot down on a mission over Los Negros Island on March 5, 1944 during World War II.[4] The memorial was designed by Poy Gum Lee[5][6] and bears calligraphy by calligrapher and poet Yu Youren (于右任).[7] The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the memorial as a landmark in June 2021.[6][7]

There also is a larger-than-lifesize bronze statue of Lin Zexu in the square, sculpted by Li Wei-Si.[2]


Chatham Square was a major station on both the Second Avenue Elevated Line and the Third Avenue Elevated Line of the New York City Subway. These lines respectively closed in 1942[8] and 1955,[9] in anticipation of being replaced by the Second Avenue Subway, which was postponed repeatedly.[10] Phase 1 of the Second Avenue Subway on the Upper East Side opened in 2017.[10][11] A new station is proposed for Chatham Square as part of Phase 4, though as of 2016, no timeline or funding has been allocated.[12]


See also



  1. ^ "Kimlau Square" on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
  2. ^ a b "Kimlau Square: Lin Ze Xu" on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
  3. ^ Moscow, Henry (1978). The Street Book: An Encyclopedia of Manhattan's Street Names and Their Origins. New York: Hagstrom Company. ISBN 978-0-8232-1275-0.
  4. ^ "Kimlau Square: History" on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
  5. ^ "Kimlau Square: Kimlau War Memorial" on the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation website
  6. ^ a b Small, Zachary (June 23, 2021). "City Approves Landmarks Honoring Chinese Americans and Native Americans". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  7. ^ a b "Kimlau War Memorial" (PDF). New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission. June 22, 2021. Retrieved July 7, 2021.
  8. ^ "Discontinuance of service Second Avenue elevated line". New York City Board of Transportation. 1942. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Katz, Ralph (May 13, 1955). "Last Train Rumbles On Third Ave. 'El'; An Era Ends With Final Run of Third Avenue 'El' LAST TRAIN ROLLS ON THIRD AVE. 'EL'" (PDF). Retrieved December 14, 2016.
  10. ^ a b Paumgarten, Nick (February 6, 2017). "The Second Avenue Subway Is Here!". The New Yorker. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  11. ^ Slotnik, Daniel E.; Wolfe, Jonathan; Fitzsimmons, Emma G.; Palmer, Emily; Remnick, Noah (January 1, 2017). "Opening of Second Avenue Subway: Updates". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 1, 2017.
  12. ^ Donohue, Pete (January 20, 2013). "Second Ave. subway on track to open in 2016: MTA". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 25, 2013.

External links

This page was last edited on 9 November 2021, at 01:15
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