Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

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     OVER THE weekend I searched for some beautiful nature in Los Angeles, which is hard to come across in a city made of interweaving freeways and buildings. My search on the internet lead me to the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden located in Bel-Air. The garden's website says, "the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is modeled on the gardens of Kyoto. The beautiful hillside garden was designed by noted Japanese garden designer Nagao Sakurai in 1959 and constructed between 1959 and 1961. It is recognized as one of the finest examples of Japanese gardens in Americas and was donated to the University of California in 1964." I fell in love with this place and the natural beauty before I could see it in person. The pictures I've seen on the internet look like they were actually taken in Japan. There is more green than I thought possible to find in Los Angeles. I could hardly wait to go to this garden and forget what city I was in and maybe even which country I was in.
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      Unfortunately, my internet search of this beautiful work of natural art also led me to the sad discovery that it is now closed to the public and its survival may be threatened. UCLA has decided to sell the garden "citing rising maintenance costs, deferred maintenance, and the lack of attendance due to limited parking" as their reason. UCLA is selling this priceless and iconic garden with no restrictions, so there is a chance it may fall into the hands of someone who will destroy it in order to make a profit. The Los Angeles times has even stated that UCLA has begun removing objects from the garden. The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is possibly the most beautiful garden in Los Angeles, and we as Angelenos have the responsibility to ensure its survival. The following link has several ways, including an online petition, which we can help preserve this unique natural beauty amongst buildings, freeways, and traffic.
Photo Credit: Bluepupae via Flikr

Please visit if interested in signing the petition

-Nastassja Habers


  1. Hi Nastassja,
    Thanks very much for your lovely post.

    One important correction. UCLA has NOT promised the garden will not be sold to a developer who will scrape it away for another Bel Air McMansion. They are selling it with with no restrictions.

    Jonathan Caldwell
    Hannah's son

  2. Oh that is so sad, I read something by a representative of UCLA that said they were looking to sell the gardens to "preservation-minded groups and individuals," however I will make the correction. I hope the garden is preserved. I would love to be able to visit the gardens.

    I wish you and the gardens the very best of luck,
    Nastassja Habers