Although founded by a group of prominent New York businessmen and philanthropists in 1907, the Japan Society is housed in New York City’s youngest landmarked building. Designed by Junzo Yoshimura in 1971 near the United Nations on land donated by John D. Rockefeller, the Japan Society’s elegant building was the first to be built by a leading Japanese architect in New York City. The building’s exterior belies what is hidden inside where a broad spectrum of public programs and exhibitions are offered against a backdrop of spectacular indoor gardens, a reflecting pool and even a waterfall.
The space also includes an art gallery with fantastic rotating exhibitions such as the current on view which examines the little-known Art Deco movement in Japan. It also houses an extensive library, a 262-seat theatre, a language center and conference rooms all stunningly furnished with designs by master woodworker George Nakashima.
While the building’s interior underwent significant renovations in 1998, there is still much to be done in the way of repainting and refurbishing the faÃ§ade and entryway. A vote for the Japan Society through the Partners in Preservation initiative helps to ensure that this historic building’s landmarked faÃ§ade and three other exterior faces are restored through a process of cleaning, painting and refurbishing that includes the replacement of the many cracked slate pavers on the walk in the entryway, as well as the fabrication and installation of a new glass entryway. The Japan Society is one of those rare locations where one can go to find respite from the hustle and bustle of the city and it is one of New York’s most vibrant cultural institutions housing in micro a wide range of activities from performances to lectures, exhibitions and education opportunities under one roof.
Click here to vote for the Japan Society, and find out more about the Japan Society @japansociety and Facebook. Follow Untapped Cities on Twitter and Facebook. Get in touch with the author @blushisthecourt.
Untapped Cities is an official blog ambassador for Partners in Preservation , a community-based initiative by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. Stay up-to-date with Untapped’s coverage of all 40 sites by following our Partners in Preservation category.