The Crane apartment building at 10th & Vine St. has been completed since 2019 after we last visited the site as it was under construction the year before. Even though this 20-story, 150-unit tower developed by the Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation and designed by Studio Agoos Lovera might not be breaking news, the massive new mural on the building certainly feels significant. Managed in by the Mural Arts program, the dedication ceremony for “The Past Supporting the Future” from artists Chenlin Cai, Yvonne Lung, and Eurhi Jones took place on a brilliantly sunny day, with a large crowd gathered to mark the affair.
The ceremony was well-attended, with a tai chi performance kicking off festivities, before representatives from the Mural Arts program, PCDC, the artists, and other stakeholders all speaking about the mural and its significance in creating a landmark in the Chinatown neighborhood. The mural is absolutely enormous, with symbolic elements throughout speaking to the history of the neighborhood. It was so large, in fact, that the ceremony took place on the corner of 11th & Vine so that the mural could be easily visible, which it certainly is for anyone heading east along 676.
This is an absolutely amazing addition to the long list of murals in the city. The blank wall was begging for something striking, and this huge piece of artwork certainly achieves that, while also creating a new sense of place for the area.
While we were here, we couldn’t help but think of some other ways this area could feel more like a destination rather than a pass through. 676 has long formed a chasm through the Chinatown neighborhood, but there is hope that just maybe we could see this scar become something more. With federal funding potentially available to help reconnect this community, it is possible we could see a capping of the highway actually happen. The Callowhill Neighborhood Association actually presented plans for blocks that could potentially be capped, and we couldn’t help but notice that these are immediately adjacent to the Crane.
With a budget upwards of $80 million just for the three green areas, this is still far from happening. However, it is encouraging to see real budgets and real timelines, and things could potentially get started as soon as 2026 if plans and funding fall into place. And as you may have noticed above, we dream of this park connecting with the nearby Rail Park, which could (and should) eventually extend further north into the Poplar neighborhood. Parks and green space are so important, especially for areas that aren’t exactly overflowing with nature. But perhaps we’ll be able to lounge on a grassy lawn at 11th & Vine someday, looking up at the gorgeous mural.