Restoring and repairing Japanese Gardens

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Japanese Gardens is one hundred years old and one of the most beautiful areas of Sioux Falls and the city wants to keep it that way.

So it’s hired a mason company to begin restoring several of the original stone columns at the park; one rock at a time.

The Japanese Gardens, which is on the National Historic Registry, is the most photographed park in the city and if you’ve ever been there, you can see why.

“Basically as soon as it gets nice until it gets cold, there will be people out there taking pictures,” Park Development Specialist Tory Miedema said.

Exotic flowers, arbors and trees make up this unique park that spans the shores near Covell Lake.

Also part of its 100 year history are the stone columns and pergolas that are starting to show their age.

That’s why the city is paying Walter Ree Masonry nearly $500,000 to begin the tedious process of replacing the old columns with new ones, but keeping all the original stones.

“We’re standing them side by side the old post versus the new post, taking the rocks off and putting them back to as close to identical as we can on the new post,” Brian Sundermann said.

Brian Sundermann says it’s time consuming, but worth the effort to preserve a piece of Sioux Falls’ history.

“It’ll be neat to see it when it’s all done, and you can go down, sit next to it, you know a lot of people take their pictures down there, graduation pictures and stuff, you’ll see it a lot I think,” Sundermann said.

“It’s expensive work, but it’s going to last for the next 100 years, so the other generations can see it as well,” Miedema said.

The city hopes to have the newly repaired columns back in place sometime this spring.

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