Sunday, November 16, 2014

Standing in the Twilight

Would make a nice new home for
Yokohama's Silk Museum
One of the first places in nineteenth century Japan opened to trade with the West, the port city of Yokohama has long been famed for its unique examples of Western architecture from that period and onward. 

Built in 1910 to serve as a silk warehouse this storied structure (pictured above) is one of a handful of such buildings to have survived a devastating earthquake that rocked the region in 1923 as well as the ravages of WWII. After withstanding the firestorms of Mother Nature and war, in the end it's perhaps no match for human greed. Unable to turn a profit from this touchstone with the past, the current owner plans to turn it into rubble very soon.  

As of yesterday the building was still
Nov. 15 - Scaffolding goes up for
slated pull down. The office building
to the right, owned by the same
realtor, dates to 1911.
standing and as of today a petition to save it is still up on Change(dot)org for anyone interested in taking their own stand for this historic landmark before it falls to the wrecking ball.

Visit the Save [the] Silk Warehouse site and The Japan Times  to read more about the building and the architect who has tried to save it from demolition.

Related stories: 

Building Character
Shock to the System


  1. Love this post and "Building Character" which reflects the fading of the vibrant neighborhood "Mom & Pop" era of Japanese postwar society, very similar to traditional Japanese society. "Shock to the System" and "Twilight" are perfect descriptions for this sea change.

    1. Someone once said "we shape our buildings and thereafter they shape us." I guess we'll just have to wait and see the shape of things to come.