The Missouri Botanical Garden announced today plans for the new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center to enhance the guest experience, better reflect its world-renowned reputation, and re-introduce a city treasure to the community and generations to come. This transformative project will enable the Garden to better carry out its mission and serve its nearly 1 million annual visitors, all while contributing to the revitalization of St. Louis.
A world leader in research and innovation, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is to connect people with plants and showcase the natural world, and the new Taylor Visitor Center will be a symbol of that mission by providing an environment that fully embraces the concept of sustainability and powerfully transports guests into the oasis that is the Garden.
“As a global leader in plant science, and as an important cultural institution, we must raise our physical visibility with a face that matches what is inside the Garden, and improves understanding of our mission, research and impact,” said Missouri Botanical Garden President Peter Wyse Jackson. “This will create a new treasure for St. Louis and further build the region’s reputation as a hub of research and innovation.”
A Look Inside
Upon entry, visitors will be immediately greeted with stunning views into some of the Garden’s most notable locations, as well as new gardens and fountains. The landscape will be even more diverse in species of plants and will include a permanent, year-round conservatory.
The entrance will be more accessible with benches for gathering and resting, wide pathways and additional drop-off areas.
The shop will include a space to offer outdoor plants, and dining options will include a grab-and-go location, as well as a sit-down café that will have expansive views into the Garden. The new center will also provide more space for meetings and events, including a separate area for large private events and conferences. Ticketing will be streamlined, and a single desk will provide information, ticket sales, membership sales and security.
Construction Scheduled for Completion in Spring 2022
Opened in 1982, the current visitor center was built to accommodate 250,000 visitors per year, a quarter of the nearly 1 million visitors welcomed to the Garden each year, contributing to the need for a new arrival experience. Construction on the $92 million, privately funded project begins in January 2020 and is expected to conclude in spring 2022. The Garden will remain open throughout the construction process and will provide the same world-class experience.
We are fortunate to be a part of the St. Louis community whose generosity enabled this project to be privately funded with no taxpayer money,” said Wyse Jackson. “The support of our donors will help enhance our members’ experiences and usher in new generations of people to experience the joy and beauty of our amazing planet.”
The world-class architect Ayers Saint Gross and landscape architect Michael Vergason have partnered with St. Louis-based construction manager Alberici on the project, in coordination with several local engineers and consultants.
To see artist renderings of the new visitor center and watch the building’s progress over the next two years, visit www.mobot.org/taylorcenter and sign up to receive updates.