Nakashima complex named national historic landmark

NEW HOPE The George Nakashima Woodworker Complex in New Hope, former home to celebrated furniture maker and craftsman George Nakashima, was named a national historic landmark Wednesday by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Nakashima, who died in 1990, was one of the nation's most highly regarded woodworkers in the 20th century.

After spending time in a World War II internment camp in Idaho, Nakashima established himself in Pennsylvania and earned renown for his wood pieces that highlighted rich grains and unusual markings.

One of his final ambitions was to create "peace altars" - giant tables made from centuries-old walnut - for each continent. There are currently peace altars in North America, Asia and Europe, and another is planned for Africa.

The African altar is being finished by Nakashima's daughter, Mira Nakashima, who continued the business in New Hope after her father's death.

Three other landmarks - in Illinois, Michigan and Arizona - were recognized by the Department of the Interior on Wednesday, bringing the number to more than 2,500 nationwide.
- Chris Palmer