Project Status: In progress

Why we’re doing this

The Chinatown Ceremonial Gates are located on Dixon Street in Haymarket. They act as ceremonial archways to Chinatown.

Dixon Street is at the heart of Chinatown and is highly valued locally, especially for multiple generations of Chinese communities who have many memories of the area.

Completed in 1980, the gates were an initiative of the Dixon Street Chinese Committee established in 1971. Designed by architect Henry Tsang, also an original member of the committee, the gates incorporate traditional Chinese design and ornamentation.

Both gates are symmetrical and largely identical besides unique individual decorative panels and are each accompanied by a pair of lion sculptures on plinths, intended to guard the entry.

In 2022 we worked with the local community to develop a vision for the future of Haymarket. We also invited feedback on our plans to improve Dixon Street.

The heritage listing and restoration of the gates is one of the projects identified as key to revitalising the area.

Busy street with ornate gates leading into a tree-covered laneway.

The Chinatown Ceremonial Gates. Image: Katherine Griffiths/City of Sydney.

What we’re doing

The gates were heritage listed in April 2024.

Restoration of the gates is guided by a heritage study from GML Heritage Architects in consultation with Henry Tsang.

Works include:

  • replacing the existing deteriorated concrete sculptures with granite lions in line with the original design. Northern and southern Chinese-style lions guard each gate, as Sydney is a sister city to Guangdong in southern China and the existing lion sculptures are in the northern Chinese style only.
  • replacing the granite plinths. 
  • upgrading the timber decorative panels and amending the original design to include the phoenix (female symbol) and dragon (male symbol).
  • replacing the ceramic roof tiles and restoring the 2 marble plaques on the north gate.
  • installing new lighting.