By Dan Wing

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Philadelphia Chinatown Development Corporation celebrated its 50th anniversary with a gala at the National Constitution Center on Friday night.

Hundreds attended the Black-Tie event, put together to honor five decades of preserving, building up, and beautifying Philadelphia’s beloved Chinatown neighborhood.

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The PCDC was founded in the mid 60s, a time when most people were leaving the area, and there was more piles of dirt than there were businesses.

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But as Executive Director John Chin points out, it’s a much different story today thanks to the hard work of many residents as well as city and state leaders:

“The population has grown to 8,000 people. We’ve never had more businesses, and when you walk through Chinatown you’ve never have felt more cultural activity and identity in Chinatown. So we’re really proud of the way Chinatown has grown and expanded.”

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However Chin says that there is more work to do, and Mayor Jim Kenney, who was on hand for the event, said that he looks forward to working with the PCDC well into the future.