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.
Located in Fairmount Park, 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 2011, with Center support, the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden 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 decades and were brought back to life as educational spaces in which to engage visitors in intercultural exhibitions and programming. These restorations allowed the Japanese House to serve audiences year round for the first time and to accommodate thousands more visitors to the site.