Skip to content

Outrageous! UCLA Breaks Donor Agreement to sell rare private Japanese garden

May 3, 2012

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, Bel-Air, California.

UCLA, as a recent Huffington Post article points out, is trying to sell what the Los Angeles Times says is “among the rarest post-World War II private Japanese gardens in the country.”  The big problem is, UCLA agreed to maintain the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden “in perpetuity.” That was the agreement they made with Edward Carter who provided UCLA with the means to purchase the site in 1964.  Carter also gave the university his home, which he said they could sell and use proceeds to create a maintenance endowment for the garden, named in honor of his wife.  UCLA affirmed the “in perpetuity” terms in 1982 and again in 1999. Carter is well known in Los Angeles for his leadership role at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and for having been a UC Regent for 36 years, including a term as the chair of the board of regents.

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, Bel-Air, California.

After Edward and Hannah Carter passed away, UCLA had got a Superior Court judge to overturn the “in perpetuity” terms and have listed the garden and the house with Coldwell Banker.  In fact, as the Huffington Post article points out, UCLA had been planning this for several years, so it makes this revelation about the university’s behavior all the more reprehensible:

In a May 1, 2009, letter extending his “sincere condolences” to Anne Caldwell, one of Hannah Carter’s children, UCLA Chancellor Gene Block wrote: “Her name and legacy will live on through the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, a beautiful reminder of her gracious and giving spirit.”

The article goes on:

UCLA was already making preparations to sell the garden well before Chancellor Block sent his letter of “sincere condolences” with assurances that Hannah Carter’s “name and legacy will live on through the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden.” Frederic Fransen, executive director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education, pointedly called UCLA’s actions in the Carter case a “bait-and-switch.”

A coalition of organizations and Hannah Carter’s children are actively trying to prevent the sale of this site, which could be determined on May 23.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: