Sign up to be emailed when new events are posted to the web site.
Philadelphia’s Japanese House and Garden receives Pew funding for 1876 Centennial Buildings renovation
Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (FJHG) was awarded a $184,300 Historic Preservation Implementation grant for renovated programming space.
Shofuso Japanese House & Garden (April 27, 2011)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Philadelphia’s Shofuso Japanese House and Garden receives Pew funding for 1876 Centennial Buildings renovation
Philadelphia, PA – April 26, 2011 – Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (FJHG) was awarded a $184,300 Historic Preservation Implementation grant from the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage through Heritage Philadelphia Program (HPP), one of only seven awards this year. FJHG is the smallest grantee organization and the only recipient of a Historic Preservation Implementation grant.
The grant is to fund the adaptive re-use of the two 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition buildings near Shofuso Japanese House and Garden for public programming, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia and Fairmount Park’s Planning, Preservation and Development section. There has been a continuous Japanese presence at or near Shofuso’s site from the 1876 Exposition to present day.
The brick Centennial buildings will be restored to their original appearance and are two of only four Centennial buildings surviving in their original locations. Memorial Hall and the Ohio House are the other intact Centennial buildings.
Fairmount Park staff offered the use of the structures to FJHG, creating an opportunity for programming and interpretation growth and consolidation. With the Pew funding, FJHG can renovate the interiors as partners with the City of Philadelphia. Exterior renovation is scheduled to begin in May, with FJHG interior renovations to begin after the exterior is completed.
Occupying these buildings will be a stepping stone to a larger, free-standing Shofuso visitor center in 5-10 years. For the first time since being chartered in 1982 FJHG will have a physical presence year-round at Shofuso, finally completely fulfilling its mission to preserve, maintain and interpret the site.
Shofuso’s visibility in the Centennial Historic District of West Philadelphia will be improved, programming capacity will be greatly increased, visitor experience will improve, interpretation of the Hiroshi Senju paintings will be clearly tied to historic Japanese culture in Philadelphia, the preservation of the site will be maintained, the connection between Japanese culture and the 1876 Centennial will be strengthened, and two historic structures will be returned to functional, appropriate use.
After renovating the Centennial Buildings, FJHG will incorporate the buildings into site interpretation and develop interpretive exhibition panels at Shofuso and at the Centennial buildings. Shofuso expects to hold its grand opening for the buildings during the April 2012 Cherry Blossom Festival.
The other HPP grantees include: the Academy of Natural Sciences, Interpretation Planning, $75,000; The American Philosophic Society Museum, Interpretation Implementation, $200,000; Cliveden of the National Trust, Interpretation Implementation, $200,000; Penn Museum, University of Pennsylvania, Interpretation Planning, $75,000; Rosenbach Museum and Library, Interpretation Implementation, $200,000; Wagner Free Institute of Science, Preservation Planning, $75,000.
Shofuso is open for weekday admissions to the public from May to September, Wednesdays through Fridays from 10am to 4pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 5pm. Adult admission is $6, student and senior admission is $3, and children under age 3 and FJHG members are admitted free.
Shofuso Japanese House and Garden reflects the history of Japanese culture in Philadelphia, from the 1876 Centennial Exposition to the installation of its contemporary paintings in 2007. A viewing garden with koi pond and island, a tea garden, and a courtyard garden comprise the 17th century-style Japanese walled and fenced garden of this historic site and museum. The Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (FJHG) maintains, preserves, and administers Shofuso as an independent nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
Each year, the FJHG opens the gates of Shofuso to almost 14,000 visitors, including 3,000 school children, who learn about Japanese culture, horticulture and architecture while immersed in the beauty of the site. FJHG offer educational programs, special events, summer camp, school programs and public and private tea ceremonies to the public. Preregistration is required.
Shofuso was built in Japan in 1953 using traditional techniques and materials and exhibited in the courtyard at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was moved to Philadelphia in 1958, to the site of several previous Japanese structures dating to the 1876 Centennial Exposition. In 2007, internationally renowned artist Hiroshi Senju, inspired by the waterfall, donated 20 murals to Shofuso.
Kim Andrews, Executive Director
Friends of the Japanese House and Garden