A remodeled Armenian cultural center in Fresno was recently opened and named after a couple responsible for its restoration.
The Garo and Alice Gureghian Armenian Cultural Center was opened March 11 as about 400 people gathered for the ribbon-cutting. Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian of the Western Regions Prelate blessed the new center.
The new center follows a long tradition of an Armenian cultural center in Fresno. The former center was located where the Doubletree Hotel now sits, across the street from the Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church in downtown Fresno. The area was once known as Fresno’s “Little Armenia.”
Garo Gureghian is the stepson of Melik Shah, who formerly was an editor of the Asbarez newspaper, which was produced at the old cultural center’s location.
Garo Gureghian and his wife made the contributions that gave the Fresno Armenian Community Center (the Asbarez Center) a new face – and a new name. In 2014, the couple donated $300,000 for the center’s restoration, according to the Asbarez.
It will serve several community organizations, including the Armenian Relief Society’s Mayr and Sophia Chapters; the Armenian Cultural Foundation; the Armenian Youth Foundation; Homenetmen; and The Hamazkayin, among others.
Several Los Angeles region officials participated in the event, as well as Daron Der-Khachadourian, the ARF Western U.S. Central Committee chairman.