End of an Era in Santa Monica

A commemorative photo taken in front of Santa Monica Nikkei Hall upon its completion in 1957. An addition was completed in 1969.

By J.K. YAMAMOTO, Rafu Staff Writer

The Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, once the hub of Santa Monica’s Japanese American community, has been sold by its three remaining officers.

Located at 1413 Michigan Ave., the one-story building was designed in 1957 by architect Y. Tom Makino (1907-1992) and constructed by Santa Monica Nikkei Hall Inc., which was established by Issei community leaders after Japanese Americans returned from the World War II camps.

The buyer is a major television and film production company already located in Santa Monica.

The sellers did not attach any conditions about preservation of the building, but asked the new owner to place a plaque with a photograph of the hall and the following text:

“This property is the former site of Santa Monica Nikkei Hall, a Japanese community organization founded in 1950.

“Proceeds from the 2017 sale of the property were donated to local commun