Work begins to restore Johnson City landmark

AdminLatest News

CFJ Pagoda will be open to public upon completion

(JOHNSON CITY, NY) – A half century after being shuttered, a Johnson City landmark is getting a new lease on life. Work is underway to restore the historic pagoda at C. Fred Johnson Park in the Village and is being supported by a $125,000 grant secured by Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo through the State and Municipal Facilities (SAM) program.

“This unique building is an historic treasure for the Village of Johnson City and for the state,” said Assemblywoman Lupardo. “It’s a part of the Endicott-Johnson story that I have long hoped could be preserved.”

The pagoda was built around 1929 under the guidance of C. Fred Johnson to serve as a pump house for E-J’s nearby factories. Johnson chose the style of the building because of his affinity for Japanese architecture. Workers who built the pump house included various items from E-J factories and recreation halls in its masonry. Items embedded in the walls include a fire extinguisher, a bowling pin, and pieces of factory machinery. It is currently being considered for national historic recognition.

The pump house ceased its operation in the 1960s when E-J began trimming its area factory operations. Environmental factors and vandalism have threatened the pagoda’s preservation; nearby development also put the building at risk, but it was moved 100 yards west of its original location rather than face demolition.

“It has always been a desire of mine and a dream for others to restore the E-J pump house pagoda,” said Johnson City Mayor Greg Deemie. “I would like to thank Assemblywoman Lupardo for securing the funding to complete the restoration.”

Restoration will include a new roof, windows with protective metal bars, a new door, a patio with seating, and lights on the outside.  Inside the pagoda, repairs to plasterwork will be completed and additional lighting will be installed; display cases will also be mounted on the walls to showcase E-J and Village artifacts. The building’s original bell, which is currently in storage, will also return to the pagoda.

Work is expected to be complete by the end of the month. After its full restoration, the pagoda will be open to the public during park hours and during special events at the CFJ Park.