The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles

Photo of The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy in Los Angeles, California
Photograph © Wayne Lorentz/Artefaqs Corporation

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The National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
Formerly:Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple

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The intersecting planes and walls of glass that ushered in the modern age of architecture in the 1950's have been updated with modern materials in this modest office building.

Tucked into a courtyard, the building's frosted glass panels and brushed concrete are both modern and welcoming. As if dramatically understating the importance of the work done here, the name of the building is rendered in the same concrete as its background. It is attractive, but not distracting.

But the modern part is actually just an addition, known as the Tateuchi Democracy Forum. The original structure is the historic 1925 Nishi Hongwanji Buddhist Temple. This was the first Buddhist temple in Los Angeles. Its facade incorporates motifs from a number of faiths, and was used to warehouse the belongings of Japanese Americans who were forced into camps during the Second World War.

Quick Facts
  • Construction finish: 1925
  • Designed by: Brenda A. Levin
  • Renovated: 2005: Addition by Levin and Associates at a cost of $10.5 million
  • Renovated: 1992
  • Type: Museum
Notes
  • Architect: Brenda A. Levin
  • Architecture firm: C&G Partners
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