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Portland Japanese Garden Celebrates Purchase of Salvation Army Property; U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici & Oregon Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward to be in Attendance for Hand-Off Event

Portland, ORE. — April 13, 2022 — On Thursday April 21, Portland Japanese Garden will celebrate the acquisition of a property that will house its new sibling organization, the Japan Institute. Speakers at this event will include U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, Oregon Sen. Elizabeth Steiner Hayward, Consul General of Japan in Portland Masaki Shiga, Salvation Army Major Bob Lloyd, and Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom.

Portland Japanese Garden, a nonprofit organization established by the community of Portland in 1963 to help heal the wounds of World War II, is taking an evolutionary step forward in order to realize its vision of being a leading voice for cultural understanding – the Japan Institute. This evolution formalizes the concept of sharing and expanding on existing programs through global collaborations, experiential education, and innovative programing for students of all ages. With the expansion of programming, came the need for more space.

The Japan Institute will be located just three miles away from Portland Japanese Garden in a wooded, three-acre respite near Forest Park. This property was initially developed in 1914 and features the work of Portland’s most celebrated architect, A.E. Doyle. Until this spring, the campus was owned by The Salvation Army. Formerly known as the White Shield Center, the property served young women and children with care and comfort from medical professionals, social workers, and educators. Many residents here were able to emerge from trying and demanding circumstances and gain the necessary skills, support, and fortitude to help them thrive as adults.

“For 100 years, The Salvation Army partnered with the E. Henry Wemme Trust to fulfill Wemme’s vision of creating a safe space where vulnerable women, without discrimination or bias, could find acceptance, love and care,” says Salvation Army Portland Metro Coordinator Major Bob Lloyd. “It truly is a privilege to be able to convey the property to Portland Japanese Garden, who will continue to provide the community a place of education, culture, and peace on these grounds.”

One of the buildings set to be renovated on the new Japan Institute campus. Photo by Portland Japanese Garden.

“We are grateful to be the next stewards of this historic property that represents a place of healing and understanding,” says Portland Japanese Garden CEO, Steve Bloom. “As an organization that was established on similar ideals around peace and healing, we take our charge seriously that this land’s legacy of community service will continue for generations to come.”

Portland Japanese Garden CEO Steve Bloom signs closing documents taking possession of the new Japan Institute campus. Photo by Portland Japanese Garden.

Portland Japanese Garden is committed to help lead Portland’s recovery from the impacts of the pandemic and recent social strife. The Japan Institute will be a boon to both its home city and the state of Oregon as it will become an international hub of artists, gardeners, intellectuals, and a meeting place for world leaders and peace ambassadors. Similar to how Portland Japanese Garden grew from an idea into an Oregon institution with 500,000 visitors per year, the Japan Institute will also attract social, technical, and economic vitality to our community.

Adam Taylor and Chris Elsenbach of JLL represented The Salvation Army in the transaction. Graham Taylor (no relation) and Brian Gunn from CBRE represented Portland Japanese Garden.

More Information:
Media Contacts:    

Will Lerner | 503-542-9351 |

About Portland Japanese Garden:  

Portland Japanese Garden is a nonprofit organization originally founded in 1963 as a place for cross-cultural understanding following World War II. A hallmark in the City of Portland, the Garden was founded on the ideals of peace and mutual understanding between peoples and cultures. Portland Japanese Garden is considered the most authentic Japanese garden outside of Japan and the foremost Japanese cultural organization in North America.