Our Foundation

Our Foundation

The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation was established in 2009 as a not-for-profit organization in order to partner with the Chicago Park District to ensure that the Garden of the Phoenix is maintained and enhanced as an extraordinary public space for all visitors to learn about Japan and experience Japanese culture while enjoying a place of great historical significance and natural beauty.

Message from the President

Thank you for visiting the Garden of the Phoenix website! Just like the garden in Jackson Park, this website will serve as a symbol of a thriving U.S.-Japan relationship, as well as a place to learn about the intertwined history of both countries. On behalf of The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation, we invite you to explore the past and watch the future unfold as we continue to discover and celebrate the narrative we all share.

We've accomplished a number of momentous milestones since setting out on our journey in 2012. We celebrated the 120th anniversary of the agreement signed by Japan and the City of Chicago by planting over 120 cherry trees in Jackson Park. We launched this website and expanded our research and archives program through the generous support of the Omron Foundation. We broke ground on the beginning improvements of the garden itself and have announced Yoko Ono's first permanent public art installation in the Americas, SKY LANDING, which will reside within The Garden of the Phoenix site in Jackson Park set to open to the public in the fall 2016.

Features of this website make it a unique repository of knowledge about Jackson Park’s Wooded Island, where the Phoenix Pavilion was created for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. The timeline found here is a particularly rich resource for historic documents that relate to the site, weaving together each generation’s hopes and dreams. For example, Okakura Kakuzo’s entire 1893 publication detailing the elaborate interior of the Phoenix Pavilion can be viewed in high resolution. And in the 1930s, the story of the garden is intimately linked with the tragedies and aspirations of the Osato family, Shoji and Frances, caretakers of the garden. Their daughter, Sono Osato, whose name means “garden,” would go on to have a glittering career as a celebrated ballerina, dancer on Broadway, and actress-- a story told in Sono’s Journey performed by Thodos Dance Chicago and sponsored in part by the Garden of the Phoenix Foundation.

Join us as we enter yet another period of growth and remarkable opportunities to share the garden’s stories now and with future generations. We encourage you to join our mailing list to stay up to date on exciting project updates and announcements as new insights and developments unfold.

We look forward to your ongoing participation and support in 2016, and beyond, both as a member of The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation, as well as a much-appreciated follower of our mission!

Sonia Cooke, President
The Garden of the Phoenix Foundation

A Special Thanks OMRON