Golden Leaf Award 2010

The Durham-Toyoma Sister Cities Pavilion at Sarah P. Duke Gardens has received a 2010 Golden Leaf Award from the Durham City-County Appearance Commission and Keep Durham Beautiful.

The Japanese pavilion is part of the W.L. Culberson Asiatic Arboretum. It was named in honor of a sister city relationship between Durham and Toyoma, Japan. Among its attractions is a Japanese tea house, in which Duke Gardens hosts traditional, intimate Japanese tea gatherings for the public and teaches school groups about the traditions.

“This award honors the partnership between Duke, Durham and Sister Cities of Durham that created a place within Duke Gardens of remarkable beauty and serenity, and a bond between Toyama and Durham that grows stronger with each tea gathering and passing season,” says Bill LeFevre, Duke Gardens’ executive director. LeFevre accepted the award in a ceremony on Sept. 30.

The pavilion was dedicated in 2007, after six years of planning and building. The tea house was designed by architect Derek Jones and built using tools, materials and techniques that have been used in Japan for centuries. Asiatic Arboretum curator Paul Jones has continued to enhance the pavilion since then, most recently with advice from horticulturist Nakasone Katsuhito, a master of Japanese landscape design, who visited from Japan last fall. You can read more about the pavilion in the spring 2010 Flora magazine.

The pavilion’s Golden Leaf award was in the community properties category. Duke University's Bell Tower Residence Hall, Home Depot Smart Home and Goodson Chapel have also received awards. Duke's newly renovated East Campus steam plant received a merit award at the 2010 ceremony.