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
A Pair of Stones
Two chunks of gray-green stone,
their shapes grotesque and unsightly,
wholly unfit for practical uses --
ordinary people despise them, leave them untouched.
Formed in the time of primal chaos,
they took their place at the mouth of Lake Taihu,
ten thousand ages resting by the lakeshore,
in one morning coming into my hands!
Pole-bearers have brought them to my prefectural office
where I wash and scrub away mud and stains.
The hollows are black, deeply scarred in mist,
crevices green with the rich hue of moss.
Aged dragons coiled to form their feet,
old swords stuck in for the crown,
I suddenly wonder if they didn't plummet from Heaven,
so different from anything in this human realm!
One will do to prop up my lute,
one to be a reservoir for my wine.
The tip of one shoots up several yards,
the other has a hollow, will hold a gallon of liquid!
My five-stringed instrument leaning on the left one,
my single wine cup set on the right,
I'll dip from the hollowed cask and it will never go dry,
though drunkenness long since has toppled me over.
Every person has something he loves,
and things all yearn for a companion.
More and more I fear that gatherings of the young
no longer will welcome a white-haired gentleman.
I turn my head, ask this pair of stones
if they'd consent to keep an old man company.
And though the stones are powerless to speak,
they agree that we three should be friends.