Founded in 1980, the garden has a rich and fascinating past.
In 1904, Mary Herter purchased this quarter with the purpose to construct a house. She asked her son and his wife to assist in decorating a big house in the style of “Mission Renaissance”. Both were painters and contributed to turning the house into an exposition hall full of splendid frescos, tapestries and other artworks.
In 1920, Gerter sold El Mirazol to Frederick Clift, the well-known hotel owner in San Francisco, who followed the elegant tradition.The hotel opened a new disputable chapter in its development in 1966. That year the hotel was affected by two fires, which devastated the west wing of the central building.
In 1975, an unknown donor purchased a land and gave it to the city for the garden. The name of that donor was discovered two years later – Alice Keck Park. After she died, she gave approximately $20 million to different institutions and programs in Santa Barbara. Alice Keck Memorial Garden has a large botanical collection of 75 different species of trees and plants included in Alice Keck Memorial Garden.
The latest garden in the park is a sensorial garden space, where the disabled and visually impaired can experience a diversity of fragrances and sounds, as well as interesting texture variation of the leaves of many plants established here. In the butterfly garden, there are host plants for butterflies and moths.