From the web site: (rc) A Brief History of the Japanese Garden
The City of Buffalo, New York, is home to many American artistic and architectural treasures including: the Darwin Martin House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, the Guaranty Office Building designed by Louis Sullivan, the Buffalo Psychiatric Center by H.H. Richardson and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, one of the leading modern art gallery in the nation. In Buffalo, visitors will also find the first park system in America, originally designed Frendrick Law Olmsted in 1870, whose other works include New York's Central Park, Boston Emerald Necklace Parks, Yosemite National Park, San Francisco's Parks System and the Niagara Reservation.
The main park in Buffalo's historic Olmsted Parks System is Delaware Park, the focal point of the 1901 Pan American Exposition. Today, Delaware Park serves as Buffalo's primary place for citywide recreation and leisure. Both the Albright-Knox Art Gallery and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society building are in this park. Delaware Park is an archetypal representation of America's Victorian and industrial era of the late 19th century.
The Japanese Garden has become a part of the landscape at the west end of Delaware Park. The design of the garden was conceived in 1970; construction started in 1971 and it was completed in 1974. It originally represented a gesture of friendship between two sister cities, Buffalo and Kanazawa, Japan. Located on six acres along Delaware Park's Mirror Lake, it began with over 1,000 plantings, some lighting, and three small islands connected to the mainland by bridges. It is maintained by the City's Parks Department.
Buffalo's artistic and architectural monuments, like Delaware Park, were constructed during the city's wealthy industrial period. As the main financial, transportation and manufacturing center of America's industrial heartland, Buffalo was able to attract this nation's greatest artists, designers, planners and architects to construct prototypical works of the period. Today, the city faces grave economic circumstances. Buffalo's urban core has decayed over the last decades. Many infrastructure necessities have been ruined or neglected, including the city's great parks system and the Japanese Garden.
The City of Buffalo, in partnership with the Japanese Group of Buffalo, the Buffalo-Kanazawa Sister City Committee and Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, is undertaking a redevelopment of its Japanese Garden to both renovate the existing Garden and enhance it, as a part of the "Adopt-A-Park" program. The program was initiated by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy in 1995 and the City of Buffalo Parks Department to encourage people to make a commitment to a nearby park or playground, or one of our historic park areas, and help keep it clean and green.
The major features of the Japanese Garden Restoration Project include: a stabilization of the existing islands with new stone and replanting, a replacement of the islands with new stone and replanting, a replacement of the ornamental bridge, a restoration of the paths, a clearing of overgrown vegetation of the upper slopes, a trimming of the existing trees and shrubs, an introduction of a stone garden, a new karesansui waterfall, a replanting of a major stand of Japanese cherry trees, new stone benches, and extensive plantings of trees and shrubs and more.
The project has started on July 1995, the design of the Garden has accomplished cooperatively with the Japanese Garden experts at the City of Kanazawa, Japan. Construction begun in the middle of April 1996 and have complected the end of June 1996. The total cost of the beautification project of the Garden is $265,000, of which $96,000 is funded by the Commemorative Association for the Japan World Exposition (1970), Japan, as Japan World Exposition Co
Ryoanji Temple, Kyoto
Only in the cloister
Could such a garden thrive, a soil where nature
Flowers in spiritual dryness,
Drawing an interior nurture
From sand and rock.
Where the labyrinth of illusion
No longer entangles the senses
Enmeshing vision in delusive lusters;
Where the lust of the eyes is silenced
And desire of forms, and names of forms,
Move to no visible end.
Those who planted here
Sowed no ephemeral seed
For the seasonal tempests to scatter,
But the silent root that ripens in detachment,
Flowers in renunciation.
Gardeners of eternity,
Those who planted here
Framed the garden in the image of a desert
And the desert in the image of a sea --
Then shrunk the seas to the mind's salt and, tasting,
Dissolved all thought away.
On these rocks no water breaks. Without attrition
Tides and currents in this ocean rest and revolve
In a void of sound, vortex of sand; perpetual
Circles enmesh and paralyzed sea and air:
The effigy of time and measure
Purged of time and measure
Becalmed on this dead sea of being
No wave moves, no wind of desire
Flexes the indolent sail.
But focussing its single eye
On dreamless immobility
The gulf like a burnished mirror
Regards the empty void.
In this dead sea of vision the surges
Merge without movement; the tides
Indifferent to flood and ebb
Freeze in a flux of haste.
The seagull without motion
Broods on the changeless waste,
Then sinks, his feathers frozen,
In a sand ocean.
Frail caravels who sail
This subtle gulf, morte mer,
Who stir with urgent keel
The fossil waters of the Great Mirage,
Or steer by lodestone to delusive ports:
In this calm beyond stasis, dead calm,
No compass points to the land,
No magnet of attachment
Guides the helmsman's hand
Through fifteen naked rocks in raked and rhythmic sand.
Here is no sea for the admirals,
The whalers, the merchants of cargoes --
Those finite venturers for the temporal haven.
These depths are destination,
And naufrage sweeter than harbor.
Shipwreck is haven on this inland sea.