ST. LOUIS – On your last visit to the Missouri Botanical Garden, you may have noticed a brand-new building and construction. This construction began back in spring 2020 and is phase 1 of a three-part phase of the new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center.
This new building opened on Friday, Nov. 13, and marks the completion of the first phase of construction. When you visit the garden, you’ll enter through the new building and take a turn to the left, where you’ll find the ticket desk.
“Then we have a temporary gift shop here that will be here until we open back up in 18 months and then we have a grab and go dine,” said Vickie Campbell, vice president of visitor operations at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
This is only a temporary change while the new Jack C. Taylor visitor center is built.
“We really want to emphasize that this is temporary. Now that this is built, we will start on phase 2, which is the demolition of the Ridgway Center and the replacement of a new Jack C. Taylor visitor center at that location. Once that building is built that will become our main entrance as it is right now,” said Paul Brockmann, senior vice president of general services at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The new Jack C. Taylor Visitor Center will open around June 2022 and will feature a new restaurant and conservatory.
“So currently you’ll see this building right here, this is where we are currently that will become our new event center. This is the whole new building. The Jack C. Taylor visitor center,” Campbell said. “You will come up through the steps in the middle. You’ll enter through the visitor center. We’ll have a restaurant that all faces into the garden. We’ll also have a gift shop that’s at the top of the stairs. As well as an outdoor garden area. You’ll go back and there will be an auditorium. And then we’ll have a new conservatory.”
Once that is completed, they then will convert this temporary visitor center into the event space, complete with an event support kitchen on the north side of the building.
“So the event center we’ll be able to do public and private. So you could have a wedding reception with 350 seated. We could do a corporate event with 450 to be seated. The room will be dividable in half, so we could have two meetings going on at the same time,” Campbell said. “We also would be able to do any of our public events during the Japanese Festival or Chinese Culture Days, or any type of events that we might want to do for our public.”
Daytime visitors will now enter and exit through this new building. For those attending Garden Glow, you’ll enter through the old visitor center and exit through this new one.