Lecture series 2019

Selected date

Thursday July 18

Selected time

7:00 PM  –  8:00 PM

History, Art and Diplomacy in the Garden of the Phoenix, Jackson Park, Chicago

For over 125 years, the Garden of the Phoenix has endured through the highs and lows of the relationship between the United States and Japan, and today is recognized as a symbol of the rich history between the two nations and their commitment to peace and mutual understanding amongst all people.


Mr. Karr will tell the story of the Garden of the Phoenix. He will begin with the vision for the site established by Kakuzo Okakura and the gift from Japan to Chicago of the Phoenix Pavilion at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, and end with SKYLANDING by Yoko Ono, a 12-petal lotus sculpture that rises from the ashes of the Phoenix Pavilion, which was lost to arson in 1946. Further, he will introduce the vision of the Chicago Park District’s framework plan for the site and the most recent work completed this summer by renowned master gardener Kazuo Mitsuhashi from Japan, as well as its relationship to other work in Jackson Park, including the Obama Presidential Center.


Robert Karr, Jr. is President of Project 120 Chicago, a not-for-profit organization that partners with the Chicago Park District to develop and revitalize the Garden of the Phoenix and its surroundings in Jackson Park, Chicago. Mr. Karr has been involved in this project for over 20 years.