Dragon Gate

Location: 1029 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133

Dragon Gate , the three portals, each covered with green tiles, leading north along Grant Avenue into Chinatown, is the landmark of Chinatown. Dragon Gate is designed by Clayton Lee and inspired by the Chinese village architecture, and the materials are donated by the Republic of China.

If you pay attention to the structure of it, you will realize that there is one Chinese guardian lion on each side of the Dragon Gate — a male lion in the west portal and a female lion in the east. As you know, Chinese guardian lion is a traditional Chinese statue that is placed in temples, palaces, pagodas, mansions, gardens, bridges, and mausoleums that are affected by Chinese culture for decorations. They are actually a stone carved into a lion shape. They are usually placed in pairs that males on the left and females on the right, in line with the traditional Chinese Yin and Yang Philosophy (阴阳哲学). The Chinese lion symbolizes power, strength and fierce that can bring safety and health to the people.

Besides from the lions, Dragon Gate also has three signs in the west, center, and east portal. There are four characters above each portal, and each sign is read from right to left. The West portal sign is read as “信义和平”, means trust, justice and peace. The East portal sign is read as “忠孝仁爱”, means love and filial piety. The Central portal is read as “天下为公”, means “All under heaven is for the good of the people”.



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