Japanese Village Plaza in Little Tokyo has been awarded a Federal Design Achievement Award, the only one in the city of Los Angeles, one of four in California and one of 91 in the entire nation.
The award was given under authority of the Presidential Design Awards Program established by President Reagan in 1983 to "recognize significant designs generated by the federal government over the last 10 years."
Developed by Japanese Village Plaza Limited Partners and designed by McClellan Cruz Gaylord & Associates, Pasadena and Newport Beach, the shopping center qualifies because it was a result of urban renewal under the Los Angeles Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA).
Nine certificates were presented in conjunction with the award, to the architect, developer, CRA, the Little Tokyo Community Development Advisory Committee, Little Tokyo Business Assn., David Hyun Associates AIA, Robert Alexander FAIA, Kazumi Adachi AIA and Takahashi & Takahashi.
The award citation states that the project "has helped to revitalize the once-declining Little Tokyo . . . has succeeded in designing, financing, developing and managing a large shopping center with small and inexperienced local merchants . . . has created a design of human scale . . . reflective of the ethnic culture. . . .The jury believes the Plaza can serve as a sharp contrast to current mass production of formula-composed and externally imposed 'festival markets' all across the land."
Nationally, there were 31 awards in the fields of architecture, landscaping, planning and interior and urban designs; 60 other awards were presented to engineering, graphic and industrial designs.
In addition to this award, the plaza received the HUD National Honor Award for Urban Design Administration, the Japanese-American Citizens League Certificate of Recognition and an award of merit from the Pasadena Foothill chapter, American Institute of Architects.