Japan Cultural Center

Yamasaki, Minoru
Japantown, San Francisco
Building Type:
Geary Blvd & Laguna St, San Francisco, California
Current Name:
Japanese Culture and Trade
Current Use:
Mixed Use
Current Condition:
Not Listed

Japan Center consists of three mall buildings – the Kinokuniya Building, the Kintetsu Mall, and the Miyako Mall – as well as the Miyako Hotel and Kabuki Theater, which anchor the east and west ends of the complex, respectively. Originally proposed by the Japanese Chamber of Commerce of Northern California in 1953, the Japan Center was one of the first urban renewal projects in the United States and one of the earliest undertakings by the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency. The center was built between 1965 and 1968 and was designed by Minoru Yamasaki & Associates and Takenaka & Associates (interior). The Center encompasses three city blocks, and the project displaced approximately 50 businesses and 1,500 residents originally located on the site. The Japan Center has since become a commercial center with a mostly local focus, providing a venue for Japanese American businesses, activities, and events. The Center is a destination for the local and regional Japanese American community as well as for Japanese nationals and visitors of all backgrounds.

Image credits:
San Francisco History Center, San Francisco Public Library



DOCOMOMO US/Northern California

P.O. Box 29226
San Francisco, CA 94129-0226


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