Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Historic Japanese-American site in H.B. discussed

The endangered remnants of the Japanese community at Wintersburg (now part of Huntington Beach, at Nichols St. and Warner Ave.) will be the topic of the Orange County Historical Society's annual Preservation Month program on May 12th (this Thursday!), 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange.

This is the most important extant Asian American historical site in Orange County, and still features the Wintersburg Japanese Presbyterian Church -- including the 1910 mission and manse, and the 1934 church -- as well as the pioneer Furuta family's charming California bungalow (shown above). All of this property now belongs to the Rainbow Disposal Company, which has proposed a plan to use at least some of the land for other purpose. Still other buildings are threatened by the planned road-widening project on Warner Ave.

Is there still a way to preserve this important piece of Orange County's heritage?

The OCHS meeting this Thursday night will feature a panel discussion with Associate Curator at the Japanese American National Museum Carla Tengan, CSUF Professor of History Emeritus Dr. Art Hansen, Orange County historian Phil Brigandi (who studied this site in the 1970s), and Rainbow Disposal Co. C.O.O. Jerry Moffatt. Everyone is going into this with a positive attitude and hopefully it will be the spark that eventually leads to at least some of these historic structures being saved.

The meeting is open to the public at no cost, and refreshments will be served. I hope to see you there!


doug macintosh said...

This probably a National Register eligible property.
Hopefully the city, Japanese community and local citizens will wisely plan for the future of this property.

Bob said...

The original congregation that first built the church for the Japanese immigrants still exist, although they relocated to Santa Ana. It is still called Wintersberg Presbyterian Church.


Chris Jepsen said...

Bob: I have previously communicated with members of the congregation who had an interest in its history. I tried to contact them about being part of the panel, but never heard back. Likewise, I wanted someone from the City on the panel, but the folks at the Planning Dept. politely declined.

Doug said...

Any results or news from the meeting?