NPS Invites Public Comment on Digital ‘Reconstruction’ of Manzanar

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A digital re-creation of Manzanar showing the gardens as they appeared in the 1940s. (National Park Service/CyArk)

INDEPENDENCE, Calif. — Through a unique partnership, the National Park Service is working with the non-profit organization CyArk to create a digital reconstruction of Manzanar, circa 1944.

With support from the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program, CyArk is also digitally reconstructing Topaz and Tule Lake during World War II.

In order to create historically accurate models, CyArk is utilizing laser scan data it collected at each site, along with historic documentation like architectural drawings, photographs, and archival research.

The National Park Service invites the public to a special preview of the digital “reconstruction” of Manzanar on Monday, July 23, in Garden Room B of the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center, located at 244 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles.

Staff from Manzanar National Historic Site and CyArk will be available from 3 to 7 p.m. to share the project and welcome comments.

“We’re honored that CyArk is digitally rendering the buildings, Japanese gardens and other features so we can all better understand what life was like for those incarcerated at Manzanar,” said Les Inafuku, superintendent of Manzanar National Historic Site. “CyArk’s final products will mesh well with the interpretive exhibits being planned for Block 14.”

“The input which we received from the public on Block 14 has been invaluable,” added Inafuku. “We hope our friends in the Nikkei community and interested others will join us again to share their recollections and ideas.”

CyArk’s mission is to create a 3D digital library of the world’s important places. A key part of CyArk’s mission is to utilize 3D, web, and mobile technologies to tell cultural stories in a way that was never before possible.

More information on CyArk is available at www.cyark.org. To learn more about Manzanar, visit http://www.nps.gov/manz or call (760) 878-2194. Manzanar is also on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/ManzanarNationalHistoricSite.

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