Shepherd Residence | Los Angeles Conservancy
Photo by Adrian Scott Fine/L.A. Conservancy

Shepherd Residence

Good news! On January 24, 2017, City Council voted to designate the 1938 Shepherd Residence as a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument (HCM). The property is now protected from demolition and/or alteration. 

In August 2016, neighborhood group Bel Air Residents for Preservation nominated the Shepherd Residence for HCM designation. 

Designed by local architect William J. Gage, the Shepherd Residence is a rare, intact example of Neoclassical architecture with Regency Revival influences in Bel Air. The property was previously identified through SurveyLA as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historical Resources, and as an HCM. 

Along with the adjoining Hannah Carter Japanese Garden, the Shepherd Residence has had numerous owners throughout its history. In 1964, owner and UCLA regent Edward Carter negotiated an agreement with the university that would subdivide the property containing the house and garden. UCLA purchased the garden property with Carter's donated funds with an agreement to preserve the landscape in perpetuity.

In 1971, Carter conveyed the title to the Shepherd Residence to UCLA, subject to a life estate, and the university assumed stewardship of the house in 2006. Following a series of legal battles, UCLA sold the Shepherd Residence and Hannah Carter Japanese Garden at a sealed-bid auction in 2016. 

The Cultural Heritage Commission (CHC) unanimously voted to recommend designation of the Shepherd Residence to City Council during its meeting on November 3, 2016. 

The Conservancy submitted a separate HCM application for the Hannah Carter Japanese Garden in August 2016, which will have its second hearing before the CHC in February 2017. We strongly support the designation of both the Shepherd Residence and the garden, which together convey multiple layers of history in the Bel Air community.