This unique project quickly achieved national and international renown among scholars and conservators. It is the only extant building that conveys America’s fascination with Japanese culture in Southern California in the early 20th century, one of four from that period remaining in the US. The innovative preservation processes developed here revealed a structure of astonishing value to the cultural history of California, and will be essential to other historic structures around the world. The challenge was to apply American preservation practices to a building designed in the architectural vocabulary and philosophy of a different culture. The architect considered both historic integrity and long-term maintenance in treating severely deteriorated original organic plaster, Japanese wood, ceramic and metal. The centerpiece of a celebrated Botanical Garden, the pavilion was constructed as an illustration of Japanese design, and is now a vital resource to 500,000 annual visitors.
Click on thumbnails to open windows with larger images.