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Support Needed for Tokio Florist/Sakai-Kozawa Residence Historic Cultural Monument Designation

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The Sakai-Kozawa residence. (Photo by Rosalind Sagara/Los Angeles Conservancy)

By KRISTEN HAYASHI

On Thursday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m., the City of Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commissioners will make a final determination on whether the Tokio Florist/Sakai-Kozawa Residence, located at 2718 Hyperion Ave. in Silver Lake, meets the criteria for designation as a City of Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument.

In July, the Cultural Heritage Commission voted unanimously to move forward with the process to take the nomination under formal consideration. The commissioners made a visit to the site last month.

The Little Tokyo Historical Society, the applicant for the HCM nomination, requests letters of support as well as public comment at the hearing. The letters of support and public comments should underscore the cultural significance of the site.

The Tokio Florist/Sakai-Kozawa Residence is exemplary of a multigenerational Japanese American residence and family-owned and operated floral business. The long history of Tokio Florist, which operated at this site for decades, anchors several integral themes to Los Angeles’ past. It also reflects the contributions of Japanese Angelenos to agriculture, floriculture, and horticulture.

Moreover, Tokio Florist proprietors Yuki Sakai and her daughter Sumi Kozawa highlight the contributions of women to the region.

For these reasons, Tokio Florist exemplifies the broad cultural, economic, and social history of the Los Angeles region. If the CHC and Los Angeles City Council decide to designate the Tokio Florist/Sakai-Kozawa Residence as a historic cultural monument, it would become the ninth — out of more than 1,100 — that outwardly reflects the rich history and contributions of the local Japanese American community, which established roots beginning in the latter half of the 19th century.

Letters of support can be emailed to: the Cultural Heritage Commission at [email protected] and the Little Tokyo Historical Society (LTHS) at [email protected]. For a letter of support template, email the LTHS. Letters must be received by the CHC at least 24 hours prior to the hearing.

The CHC hearing is open to the public and will be held in Room 1010 (10th Floor) in Los Angeles City Hall. Upon arrival, hearing attendees can sign up to make a public comment.

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