Historic Buildings

The Upper House (a.k.a. Moonviewing House) sits on the slope of the Moon Viewing Hill as a place of quiet retreat. From the engawa, or veranda, one can contemplate the beauty of the gardens and the splendor of the moon from the time it rises until it sets. Constructed without nails in the traditional manner, this is the original house built by the Stine family in 1918. The interior floors are covered with tatami mats and there is a tokonoma for a scroll and flower arrangements. 







Below: The Lower House (a.k.a. Zen Garden House) was built in 1922. It incorporates many Japanese features such as post and beam construction with sliding doors and windows. It is an example of the organic architecture movement, popular at the time which emphasized the use of honest materials in their unaltered state.






Below: The Cultural Exchange Center (CEC) is an authentic reproduction of a 19th century (Edo period) Kyoto tea-merchant's house and shop.  The original plan was to ship a several-hundred-year-old tea merchant house from Japan to California, but fire regulations did not allow it. The architect Kiyoshi  Yasui designed the CEC and American architect Warren Haid, a fellow Rotarian, assisted. The result is a well-proportioned Japanese building that was constructed in Japan, disassembled, shipped to Saratoga and reassembled on-site.



Viewing deck with Santa Clara Valley