Chinatown Friendship Archway arches over H St. at 7th St. N.W. It marks the ceremonial entrance to D.C.'s tiny Chinatown neighborhood, bounded by H, I, 5th and 8th streets. This traditionally styled Chinese gate features seven tiled roofs and 272 painted dragons. It was dedicated in 1986 by the mayors of Beijing and the District of Columbia.
In the vicinity of the arch, names of national chains like Bed, Bath & Beyond and Starbucks are also designated by Chinese characters. Since the Verizon Center (now Capital One Arena) opened in 1997, however, restaurants are about the only thing in the neighborhood that qualify as “Chinese,” and its former cultural identity has become increasingly diluted within the larger Penn Quarter district.
The Chinese New Year's parade passes under the arch; the parade takes place between late January and mid-February, the date depending on the lunar calendar.