CITIZENS OF HERITAGE SQUARE
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Astoria Mayor Willis L. Van Dusen became focused on the idea
of building a Chinese heritage park
when he realized how little was known locally
of Astoria's Chinese community.
This group was largely responsible for
helping to put Astoria on the map
in the late 1800s and early 1900s,
particularly with regard to the salmon industry,
yet there were few public acknowledgements of
their contributions or even their presence.
This realization came to light when Van Dusen invited
Chinese Astorian Duncan Law to a meeting
that would be held at a local museum.
It was then that Law pointed out the Chinese
were in large part absent from much of
Astoria's documented history,
including that of the museum.
Absence of the Chinese from Astoria's rich legacy
is no longer the case,
and with completion of the Garden of Surging Waves,
there is a heightened awareness for all
cultures that constitute the fabric of Astoria.
The contributions of the Chinese will be
recognized and celebrated
as a significant piece of that fabric and legacy.
Willis L. Van Dusen
sharing the dream of the
World Class Chinese Heritage Park
Check out the VIDEO
The Garden of Surging Waves,
the city of Astoria's bicentennial legacy gift,
help's share an important piece of Astoria's history
and marks the 200th anniversary
of the city's founding (1811-2011).
The Astoria Column, that also reveals pieces of Astoria's past,
was the city's centennial legacy gift,
celebrating its 100-year anniversary.
The garden will serve as a reminder
not only of Chinese contributions to Astoria and the Pacific Northwest,
but to Oregon's early ties to China that were first developed
in the days of John Jacob Astor,
and have flourished over the last 200 years.
Astoria, Oregon has a rich history reflecting the
influence of cultures from around the world.
Many of its current residents are descended from the
early families that built the city
and provided labor for its first industries.
The Chinese played a significant role in the history of Astoria,
working in the canneries,
building the city's sewer system,
that would connect Astoria to Portland,
and building the jetties at
the mouth of the mighty Columbia River.
The Garden of Surging Waves is a city park
designed to honor and celebrate the
and the Lower Columbia River Basin.
The park occupies a portion of a city block that is bordered by
11th Street to the west, Duane Street to the north,
12th Street to the east, and Exchange Street to the South,
in the core of Astoria's historic downtown district.
It is situated directly across from Astoria's City Hall.
The Garden of Surging Waves is one piece of a
larger redevelopment project slated for this city block,
now referred to as Heritage Square.
The Garden is Phase I of the Heritage Square project.
Development of additional public space is
envisioned for other parts of the block
in future phases.
Initial concepts suggest an amphitheater
and large, open areas designed to serve as community gathering spaces
The block could accommodate multiple uses,
whether showcasing community events,
offering a stage for outdoor performances,
or providing family and friends an enjoyable urban park setting
in the heart of downtown Astoria.
There is currently no space
in the city's downtown core
that is developed to
serve such purposes on a permanent basis.
The Garden of Surging Waves is pronounced
“Cāng Láng Yuán” in Chinese.
The Chinese written characters for the words
“surging wave” are also used to
express hardship and struggle —
experiences shared by many of America's early immigrant groups.
The Garden of Surging Waves seeks to honor the experience
of the early Chinese immigrants and to celebrate their collective accomplishments and contributions to the Lower Columbia River Basin.