Portland, February 21st, 2016. Craftsmen are putting the finishing touches on Portland Japanese Garden‘s 33.5-million dollar Cultural Crossings expansion project which will open to the public on March 1st. The Garden has been closed for six months to accommodate the heaviest construction on the project. Construction will continue immediately outside the Garden’s gates until officials reveal the new Cultural Village at a Grand Reopening in Spring 2017.
The overall expansion project includes three new LEED certified buildings and seven new garden spaces. Architects have taken into consideration efficiency and design; the Garden’s new buildings and landscaping were developed primarily in the current footprint. A new entrance and ticketing office will be located adjacent to the existing parking lot on Kingston Avenue. New garden landscaping styles will accompany visitors up the hillside along the existing path to the new Cultural Village.
Contributions for the project have come from donors in Oregon, around North America, and Japan. Notable gifts include: $5,000,000 from Arlene Schnitzer, $4,500,000 from Japanese Garden Trustees, $1,500,000 from the Oregon State Lottery Bonds and $1,500,000 from business leaders and philanthropists in Japan.
The plan calls for over 200 new trees and shrubs along the walking trail leading from the parking lot to the garden while removing invasive non-native species (e.g., English Ivy) from the hillside. The original five gardens will remain intact and unmodified during the expansion. A primary reason for the expansion is to protect and preserve the tranquility of the original Garden while hosting more visitors every year.
Here’s a video about the expansion project: