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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Help Save the UCLA Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air, California.

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The survival of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, a place of natural beauty and quiet retreat in Bel Air, is in critical danger. The garden, an asset to the community for almost fifty years, has long been open to the public, and serves as a teaching resource for the UCLA community and for students of garden history, landscape architects, and garden lovers from around the world. That all may change very soon: the University has announced plans to place the garden on market by the end of January, after first removing valuable objects that are integral to the design of the garden.

The garden is historically significant as the best private, residential Japanese-style garden built in America in the post-war period, demonstrating the rapid embrace of Japanese culture in the wake of World War II. It is also important because it represents the work of architect Nagao Sakurai and landscape architect Koichi Kawana, two of the leading figures who created Japanese gardens on the West Coast in the mid-twentieth century.

The Garden Conservancy is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving exceptional gardens for the enjoyment of the public. Among others, we have expressed our concern in writing to the UCLA Chancellor, urging the University to seek ways to preserve the garden, perhaps by selling the house and dedicating additional funds to the garden endowment. We are also in communication with other preservation leaders and organizations in Los Angeles, care a lot about the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, and want to hear more from the Bel Air community. To share your thoughts and to learn more about how you can help in this urgent situation, please send an e-mail to

The Garden Conservancy

Help Save the UCLA Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel Air, California. This is one of the hidden treasures of Los Angels and I hope we can save this amazing place for everyone to enjoy.
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