Buffalo Botanical Gardens
The conservatory and botanical gardens were created from the visions of extraordinary people. David F. Day, Frederick Law Olmsted, John F. Cowell, Frederick A. Lord and William A. Burnham of Lord & Burnham Co.. Each of these talented individuals contributed to the inception, design and success of the South Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens.
In the 1860s, David F. Day, a Buffalo city attorney and judge, and later Parks Commissioner, was instrumental in including botanical collections in the City of Buffalo and continued to support a south park conservatory project with great enthusiasm.
Distinguished for his creativity in designing New York City’s Central Park and Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, Frederick Law Olmsted was called upon by the Buffalo Parks Commission in 1868 to design parks for Buffalo. His unique design included not one but three parks, The Park (Delaware Park), The Parade (Martin Luther King Jr. Park), The Front Park, connecting parkways and circles. As Buffalo expanded, Olmsted was called upon to enlarge the park system by adding additional parks including Cazenovia Park and South Park. South Park was constructed between the years of 1894-1900 from 156 acres of farmland.
Olmsted’s final design of South Park included a conservatory and surrounding formal gardens. In 1894, Professor John F. Cowell was appointed as the first Director of the conservatory and to oversee plantings in South Park. He was considered a genius in botany and horticulture and his passion was deep rooted in his mission to expand and diversify the soon to be park and conservatory’s collections. He gathered plants, trees and flowers from every corner of the world and his expertise and guidance allowed for many successful years for the conservatory.
While South Park was being constructed, Lord & Burnham Co. was busy designing the South Park Conservatory. The design was modeled after the beautiful Crystal Palace in England and was built by a Buffalo construction company, George P. Wurtz & Son for a total cost of $130,000. Upon opening in 1900, the conservatory was the third largest public greenhouse in the United States and was ranked as the ninth largest in the world.
The 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo helped to spur the success of the South Park Conservatory by providing trolley rides from downtown Buffalo to the conservatory. Tens of thousands of people visited the breathtaking conservatory and delighted in the exotic collection of plants and flowers.
Find out more at buffalogardens.com!
Discount for groups
Tour Length: Under 1 hour
Shopping - Motorcoach Parking
Restaurant Welcomes Motorcoach Groups of 20 + ppl
DESCRIPTION: The Botanical Gardens is a unique place for meetings. We have beautiful greenhouses to offer, private meeting space and electronic equipment to offer. Call for details - 716.827.1584 ext. 219