Buddhist Center Actualized 40 Years After Contemplation

January 16, 2007

Author: Kristin Bender

Source: The Buddhist Channel


Berkeley, CA (USA) -- It took 40 years, but Sady Hayashida finally saw his dream come true when a Buddhist learning center he designed recently opened in Berkeley.

The Jodo Shinshu Center for Buddhist Studies, a $12 million educational development center in downtown Berkeley, is now open, four decades after Hayashida's college plans for a similar center were rejected.

"I always hoped something could happen," said Hayashida, owner of Emeryville-based Hayashida Architects, which designed the center. "This center becoming a reality is realizing a dream I had back in the'60s."

In the last months of 1966, Hayashida, then 23, was a University of California, Berkeley, senior completing a bachelor's degree in architecture.

As part of his senior project, he drafted blueprints for the Buddhist Churches of America to build a temple, classrooms, a cafeteria, recreational areas, offices and dormitories on an expansive private school site that was up for sale in North Berkeley.

He labored for an entire semester on the grand plan, using a finely sharpened pencil and thumb-sized ink stamps to show where each building would be, where each tree would take root and where the cars would park. The plan was his college swan song, his masterpiece.