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An Important Victory for the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden

July 30, 2012

Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, Bel-Air, California.

According to the Los Angeles Times: “Los Angeles County Superior Court judge [Lisa Hart Cole] on Friday ordered a temporary halt to UCLA‘s proposed sale of the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in Bel-Air.”   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).

After both Edward and Hannah were deceased, UCLA persuaded a judge to overturn the “in perpetuity” terms of the bequest.  A few weeks before her current ruling, Judge Cole said the University’s actions were “duplicitous.”  In addition, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom recently wrote UCLA Chancellor Gene Block expressing his “apprehension regarding the sale” of the garden saying he believes “preserving the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden will prove to be a long-term benefit to the University and the State.”

Additional coverage in the Beverly Hills Courier.

The Huffington Post has a fuller account of the background.

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