Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist and Pole Sign
The Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist is located at 2718 Hyperion Avenue in Silver Lake. The home and grounds are significant for their association with the Sakai-Kozawa family and their longtime floral business, Tokio Florist, which operated at this location from 1960 to 2006.
In December 2018, the property was listed for sale, leaving its future uncertain. In June 2019, the Little Tokyo Historical Society nominated the building for local Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) recognition. The Conservancy helped prepare and supports the nomination. On July 18, the Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) voted in support to take the HCM nomination under consideration.
On September 19, the CHC met to review and voted in full support of the HCM nomination. At this meeting, the Commission amended the proposed monument name to Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist and Pole Sign to acknowledge the significance of the property's commercial signage. The City Council's Planning and Land Use Management (PLUM) committee voted in support of the nomination at their November 5 meeting. On November 27, the City Council unanimously approved the designation of the Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist and Pole Sign as a Historic-Cultural Monument.
The Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist is exemplary as a longstanding Japanese American-owned business in Los Angeles. The business endured for 78 years with a few years break in operation due the forced removal and incarceration of the Sakai family during World War II.
In 2014, SurveyLA identified the Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist as potentially eligible for listing as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM) as the long-time location of a flower shop with a significant association to the commercial identity of Silver Lake and for reflecting the Japanese American presence in Silver Lake. In 2018, SurveyLA's Asian American Historic Context Statement affirmed earlier findings.
Potential for lot subdivision, demolition, and/or major alterations to the character-defining features of the property, are among some of the challenges facing the Sakai-Kozawa Residence/Tokio Florist.
Among the last remaining material and contextual markers of the flower farms and flower shops and stands that dotted the Silver Lake, Los Feliz, and Atwater neighborhoods, this property narrates a history of Japanese immigrants and Japanese Americans in Los Angeles that has rare representation.