The City of Los Angeles eventually took over the older building in 1973, but it fell into disuse. When the National Museum was incorporated in 1985, the City offered to lease the building to the Museum for $1 a year. However, major upgrades were required before it was reopened to the public in May of 1992.
"We are very grateful to the S. Mark Taper Foundation for this grant which allows the Japanese American National Museum to maintain our Historic Building," said Akemi Kikumura Yano, President and CEO of the National Museum. "When the Museum first opened in 1992, we acknowledged that this former Buddhist temple building was the largest artifact in our collection. So much history has taken place in this structure: weddings; funerals; community gatherings. For many Japanese Americans, this was the last place they assembled before being forced away from their homes during World War II, and for others, it was first place they returned to after the war. Taking care of this building is important, and thanks to the S. Mark Taper Foundation, we will be able to ensure the windows are in the best shape since 1925."
With the grant from the Taper Foundation, the National Museum is in the process of obtaining matching funds that will be used solely for the restoration. The windows will have to be removed, so they can be repaired and restored. Scaffolding will be installed during the renovation. National Museum staff has already moved out of the offices into the adjacent Pavilion in preparation for the restoration.