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Landmark Designation for Pennsylvania Woodworker’s Complex

Friday Apr 25, 2014
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This large walnut plank, nearly hopelessly cracked, was carefully joined together by butterflies--a structural technique made famous by George Nakashima.
This large walnut plank, nearly hopelessly cracked, was carefully joined together by butterflies--a structural technique made famous by George Nakashima.  (Source:nakashimawoodworker.com)

The former suburban Philadelphia home of a celebrated furniture designer and woodworker has been designated a national historic landmark.

The U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday called the George Nakashima Woodworker Complex in Bucks County significant for its Japanese-influenced structures.

Officials said the work of Nakashima, who died in 1990, expresses a worldview formed by his architectural education and exposure to European Modernism, Eastern religious philosophy and traditional Japanese craft traditions, some of which he learned while interned along with other Americans of Japanese ancestry during World War II.

The announcement said he became "an important voice for the artist craftsmen helping to create a new paradigm for studio furniture production in the postwar period."

Pennsylvania listed the Solebury property on the national registry of historic places in 2008.

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