Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens

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Coordinates: 34°25′42″N 119°42′22″W / 34.428347°N 119.705983°W / 34.428347; -119.705983

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, view from the Koi Pond

Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens is a park located in Santa Barbara, California. It consists of one entire city block, bounded by Santa Barbara, Micheltorena, Garden and Arrellaga Streets. It is across Santa Barbara Street from the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, and across Micheltorena Street from Alameda Park.[1]

The property, formerly the site of artist Albert Herter's El Mirasol Hotel (demolished 1960s), was purchased and donated to the city in 1975. The anonymous gift included funds for the land's conversion into gardens, and an endowment for their maintenance. The donor's identity remained a mystery until her death, two years later, when it was revealed to have been Alice Keck Park (1918–1977).[2] Park was the daughter of William Myron Keck, the founder of Superior Oil Company. She had a family connection to the Herters and the site – W. M. Keck's sister Caroline (Alice's aunt) had been the widow of Herter's son Everit, who died in World War I. The City dedicated the gardens in 1980, and named them in Park's honor.

The gardens feature a man-made pond stocked with turtles and koi, as well as a gazebo and many meandering walkways and paths. All the plants in the garden, some native and some ornamental, are chosen specifically to be tolerant of the low-water nature of the Santa Barbara climate. In addition, there is an area regarded as a sensory garden for the visually impaired.


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  2. ^ Hattie Beresford, "The Italian Caper," Montecito Journal, February 22, 2007.[1]

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