Rediscovering Los Angeles — A Japanese Garden

Feb. 17, 1936, Rediscovering Los Angeles

Feb. 17, 1936: I think this may be my favorite entry so far. Times artist Charles Owens and columnist Timothy Turner visit a Japanese flower shop on San Pedro Street north of 1st Street, which was converted by Toyo Y. Maeda from a garage and parking lot.

Enter a hidden garden of a size and beauty that makes us say “Oh!” It is a completely Japanese garden with miniature landscaping in large plats or little flower boxes one can pick up; with miniature bridges over imaginary streams, a Shinto shrine in the corner — an apparently accidental yet carefully studied arrangement of flora in profusion…

Traffic cannot be seen or heard, for the walls keep the sound out. You can stand there right in the heart of old Los Angeles, with streetcars and motor trucks jammed on all sides, and hear birds sing and look up at the blue square of sky and write¬† a poem or chew gum meditatively — commune with nature according to your desires.

San Pedro and 1st, Los Angeles, CA
San Pedro and 1st streets, via Google Street View.

Feb. 17, 1936, Rediscovering Los Angeles

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About lmharnisch

I work at the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1936, Art & Artists, Downtown, Nuestro Pueblo and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Rediscovering Los Angeles — A Japanese Garden

  1. aryedirect says:

    Sad to see such tranquil beauty disappear in favor of chain link fences and concrete. I wonder if the garden was doomed after December 7, 1941 when hate-anything-Japanese propaganda became the norm.

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