Descanso Gardens announced today that it has officially been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places and will be included in the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
“We are extremely proud to have received this prestigious recognition,” said Juliann Rooke, Executive Director, Descanso Gardens. “We have long believed that this historic property is worthy of the designation and submitted a detailed application in 2019. We were thrilled to receive the good news this week and are excited to share it with everyone who loves Descanso as much as we do.”
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of U.S. historic buildings, structures, sites, objects, and districts worthy of preservation. The National Register provides formal recognition of a property’s architectural, historical, or archaeological significance. It also identifies historic properties for planning purposes and ensures that these properties will be considered in the planning of state or federally assisted projects. National Register listing encourages preservation of historic properties through public awareness, federal and state tax incentives, and grants.
Descanso Gardens is listed in the National Register of Historic Places for contributions to horticulture in Southern California, the preservation of public green space during the mid-20th-century rise of urbanism, and the preservation of cultural landscapes native to Southern California. The Gardens are also listed for their excellent example of the Hollywood Regency style, and the Japanese-style garden type, and the work of master architects and landscape architects, Eijiro Nunokawa and Kenneth Masao Nishimoto. The 1937-1969 period of significance encompasses Elias Manchester Boddy’s ownership of the property, its conversion of the land to public gardens, and the construction of the Japanese Garden.
Descanso Gardens is a 149-acre botanical garden in a residential setting in La Cañada Flintridge, approximately 15 miles north of the City of Los Angeles. Seventeen contributing resources include seven buildings,
nine sites, and one structure: the Boddy House, Garage, and associated landscaping (Boddy Complex), Boddy Lodge, Caretaker’s Cottage, Boddy Drive Landscape, Descanso Creek Landscape, Camellia Forest, Japanese Garden, Tea House, Minka House, Japanese Garden Bridge, Lakeside Lookout, California Native Garden, Rose Garden and Heritage Oak Trees. Architectural styles include Colonial Revival, Hollywood Regency, Asian, and Mid-Century Modern.