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“When I first heard about the idea for the Chinese Garden, I was intrigued. The more I learned, the more convinced I was this was something we needed. I decided to support it because I saw it as a way to build more appreciation of Chinese culture in Southern California, and a way for me to give back to the community. I thank The Huntington for the tremendous work they've done to create this unique cultural treasure and for its ongoing efforts to expand and improve upon it so future generations can also enjoy and learn from it.”... – Wilbur K. Woo, Donor and Friend
Building Phase I of the Chinese Garden
The first phase of Liu Fang Yuan, or the Garden of Flowing Fragrance, was completed in February 2008. Its construction started in 2004 and involved the talents and skills of Chinese artisans from Suzhou and of designers and builders from Southern California.
This unique collaboration resulted in beautiful “poetic” Chinese garden that encompasses a lake, seven pavilions, five stone bridges, and sheltered walkways, which are set amidst a landscape of plants native to China and California. Covering five acres of an allotted 12 acres, Liu Fang Yuan received gifts totaling more than $18 million for its construction and millions more for endowing education and cultural programs.
Liu Fang Yuan is the only garden in the world built with authentic materials—all sourced, fabricated and shipped from China, built by Chinese artisans, yet built to meet California earthquake codes and American building codes. Hidden behind the Chinese finish materials is the American steel “skeleton”.