A new garden being planned for Astoria, Ore., will commemorate the contribution of Chinese people to the building of the Astoria area and Lower Columbia River Basin.
The Garden of the Surging Waves is working to raise a total of $800,000 to support construction, which is scheduled to begin in 2011.
Six groups of artworks from Shaanxi Yuan Kun Sculptural Arts Company, of Xian, China, have been commissioned for installation in the garden. They will be located on the riverfront at Ninth and Astor Streets. An artist in China, Huo Baozhu, has donated a substantial amount of bronze artwork to the park. He also donated 20 bronze plaques and two bronze elephants to Portland in the past.
Mayor Willis L. Van Dusen and the city council lead the effort in recognizing the early Chinese immigrants, whose contributions to Astoria are long overdue for recognition and celebration.
The Chinese immigrants established themselves deeply into the community and toiled tirelessly in the fish canneries, on the railroads, and on many of Astoria’s and its surrounding region’s early infrastructure projects.
Van Dusen said he never knew that part of the city’s history until he invited a Chinese American elder to a meeting at a local museum.
The garden’s design is the result of a collaborative effort between the City of Astoria, the Garden of Surging Waves Citizens’ Advisory Committee, and the design team lead by designer Suenn Ho of MulvannyG2 Architecture. ♦
For more information, visit www.AstoriaChineseHeritage.org.