Missouri Botanical Garden Opens New Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center

To celebrate the grand opening, the garden will offer free admission to all visitors on Saturday and Sunday.

ST. LOUIS — The brand new Missouri Botanical Garden Visitor Center is open to the public.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Saturday morning for the Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center. To celebrate the grand opening, the garden will offer free admission to all visitors on Saturday and Sunday, sponsored by Pohlmann Legacy.

Inside the new center, the William T. Kemper Lobby houses the ticket office, restrooms, restaurants, and gift shops, with all visitor services accessible on the ground floor.

The expanded Sassafras Restaurant and Cafe will offer two dining options and plenty of outdoor seating, and the new Garden Gate Shop is now more spacious and includes an outdoor plant store.

“Throughout the building, patrons will enjoy stunning views of the garden landscapes,” the garden said in a press release. “Design elements, like terrazzo flooring with inlaid brass leaf and 10-foot glass panels showcasing plants from the Garden Collection, bring elements of the outdoors indoors.”

Prior to the 10 a.m. ceremony, MoBot President Peter Wyse Jackson joined Today in St. Louis for a live interview.

“When they walk in, they’ll see an amazing array of new equipment and facilities,” Jackson said. “It’s really designed to make our visitors feel welcome with wonderful restaurants, our garden gift shop, videos to tell them about the work of the garden. And then all the great garden features unfold and open up for them. “

The project was fully funded by the garden’s Gateway to the Garden campaign, which raised $100 million through private donations.

“It’s an exciting time,” Jackson said. “This is a real milestone in the long and distinguished history of the Missouri Botanical Garden, and it ushers in a whole new era for the garden when we can do so much more with these wonderful facilities.”

There is still work to be done throughout the year. The garden said it would begin planting the new North and South Gardens in the fall, adding more than 35,000 total plants to its landscape, including many rare and endangered species.

Next month, plants will be added to the Emerson Conservatory, which will feature a permanent display of Mediterranean plants and serve as the new home for the garden’s flower shows.

The Bayer Event Center is expected to be completed this winter.

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