Here we go again! Another attempt to commercialize the Shinzen Japanese Garden in Woodward Park. This time the Miami-based Benihana, Inc. has been suggested as the developer of a 10,000-square-foot restaurant, as well as a parking structure and cultural center, all to be located within the Shinzen Japanese Garden.
As a 23-year docent in the Garden, I strongly protest the invasion of this serene and beautiful meditative place.
Ralph W. Woodward, the park's benefactor, wrote a provision in his will stating that "the park be a quiet one and a sanctuary for birds with no heavy activity to distract from its peaceful and serene beauty." It is hoped that his wishes will be honored.