Danville Express

Perspective - July 13, 2007

A shrinking garden

Danville has been fortunate to have a lovely garden to enjoy on Hartz Avenue at Church Street, right in front of Bridges restaurant. In 1989, when Kazuo Sugitani brought his 16-year-old son, Ryota, from Kobe, Japan, to attend Athenian School, he fell in love with Danville, so the story goes. He opened Bridges, a restaurant that fuses Japanese food and atmosphere with that of Northern California, which Ryota Sugitani ran until a few years ago. And, to give something more to the residents, Kazuo Sugitani also created an island of serenity for everyone to enjoy, a peaceful garden on Hartz Avenue next to the sign for Bridges.

This tranquil spot has a path with trees, two benches and an arbor to provide shade on warm Danville days, plus a post in the back that reads: "May peace prevail on earth." Those who have not had the opportunity to stop and relax under the arbor still have been able to enjoy the lovely little park as they pass by or use the path as a shortcut between Front Street and Hartz.

Now this mini-park will probably be undergoing a change. The Planning Commission this week approved an application to build a 2,300-square-foot retail building on the .27-acre parcel, which goes along with the town's idea to encourage retail businesses on Hartz Avenue. The new plans include a landscaped area on Church Avenue, which serves as the entrance to Bridges, and the plans designate a spot that could be used for seating in the smaller garden area.

We are sorry to see an end to this island of serenity on Hartz Avenue but we are grateful for the years of enjoyment it has provided. And we hope if the plan goes through to transform the private park to a business, that seating indeed will be included in the landscaping so it can remain a place to sit and rest in the shade.


Posted by Coco Moon, a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2007 at 2:15 pm

Im terribly sorry to see such a wonderful, relaxing oasis go to yet another boring office complex.........

Posted by Tara Fay, a resident of Danville
on Jul 26, 2007 at 2:24 pm

"Me and many other people I know loved going to that spot, resting on the shaded benches, sitting by the fountain. The trees have spread their roots there for years! But to see it get destroid, I would be miserable!"

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