By Suzanne Ma
CHINATOWN — Two downtown neighborhoods, intertwined in over a century of shared histories, have been recognized as a single, national historic district.
The immigrant communities of Chinatown and Little Italy were officially added to the National Register of Historic Places last week.
The district stretches across more than 40 blocks, from Lafayette to the Bowery and from East Houston Street to Worth Street, including Columbus Park and Chatham Square.
“We are hoping that the designation preserves the architecture of the area, while appreciating the experience of Chinese and Italian immigrants," Victor Papa, president and director of community group Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, said in a statement.
"We also wish to create national attention and boost tourism."
Listing on the National Register recognizes the historic importance of the buildings and landmarks within the district. It also allows owners of income producing properties to qualify for income tax benefits and historic preservation grants.
A series of presentations will be held in in April to explain the benefits of the historic designation.
Last October, the two communities were placed on the New York State Register of Historic Places.