Restoration of two of the last remaining structures from Philadelphia’s 1876 Centennial Exposition in Fairmount Park. Image courtesy of Shofuso, The Friends of the Japanese House and Garden.
The Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (FJHG) in Fairmount Park restored two of the last remaining structures from Philadelphia's 1876 Centennial Exposition to use for public programming space. These architecturally distinctive buildings had been used as storage sheds for park maintenance for decades and were brought back to life as educational spaces to engage visitors in intercultural exhibitions and programming. The restoration allowed the Japanese House to serve audiences year round for the first time and to accommodate thousands more visitors to the site. The buildings, located near Shofuso's gate, were restored to their 1876 exterior appearance by the city of Philadelphia, while the building's interiors were restored by FJHG. The adaptive re-use also allowed Shofuso to expand their story line to include the Japanese presence in Philadelphia from the Centennial to the present.