Traces of Union Church in Little Tokyo

FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place.


Traces No. 2: UNION

In 1922, in the burgeoning area of downtown Los Angeles known as Little Tokyo, leaders of three separate struggling Japanese missions combined their efforts to create one strong church. They called it the Japanese Union Church. As construction workers and parishioners lowered the ceremonial cornerstone that year, they were laying a foundation built on unity and co-existence -- values that would continue to be represented throughout the life of the structure. 

Today the simple yet grand four-columned Colonial building houses the Union Center for the Arts. It stands as a monument to what can be accomplished when cooperation, understanding, and the singular vision of a community guides the way.

Giving voice to an enduring landmark that has experienced pivotal moments in the history of Los Angeles, "Traces 2: UNION" offers a glimpse into the life of a building through the memories and accounts of those who have been a part of its story. If you are among those who have been there, whether for a musical production, an art show, or a film screening in 2012, or for worship in 1923, then you will know that the stately structure that stands at 120 Judge John Aiso Street embodies much of what is good in a metropolis as complex and enriching as Los Angeles.  

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Civilizations should be measured by the degree of diversity attained and the degree of unity retained - W. H. Auden


FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place. As an open studio, FfF seeks to collaborate with people (architects, designers, and dwellers alike) who are interested in telling unique stories around the built environment, the places around them, and its impact on people's lives.

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FORM follows FUNCTION is a collaborative media studio creating non-fiction, short format videos connecting architecture, people and place. As an open studio, FfF seeks to collaborate with people (architects, designers, and dweller...

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