The Soto Zen Temple presents a striking combination of traditional forms and modern materials. Its focal point, a seventy-foot-high, stainless steel, four-sided pyramidal tower, was inspired by the Great Tower of Bodh Gaya Temple in Bihar, India, the site of Buddha's enlightenment. Octagonal brick wings capped by shorter metal towers frame the central entrance, with its elbow-bracketed columns, clay-tile floor, and cusped-arched portal. The cusped arch is repeated in the doorway to the sanctuary. Sliding doors cross ventilate the nave and access cantilevered lanai which run along the sides of the building. The naijin (chancel) with carved elephant-head beam ends and the ramma (transoms) depicting the life of Buddha are of high quality. A fine level of detail and craftsmanship is evident throughout the building, from the wood and glass-block wall of the foyer to the exterior brickwork of the wings. The magnificent twenty-foot-high gold statue of the eleven-faced Kannon dates from 1933.
You are here
Soto Zen Temple
If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.
SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.