Sachs Museum, Missouri Botanical Garden

After being closed the vast majority of my life, the Missouri Botanical Garden’s museum, one of the oldest buildings in St. Louis, finally opened up again as the Stephen and David Sachs Museum. Originally built by Henry Shaw, the Sachs Museum was built in 1859 according to plans by his favorite architect, George I. Barnett….

Henry Shaw’s Houses, Missouri Botanical Garden

Tower Grove House was the country home of Henry Shaw, which used to always boggle my mind when I was a child considering how deep in the city it is today. Also, many people do not realize it was built in stages, with the designs of at least the first part by the famed architect…

Japanese Garden, Missouri Botanical Garden

I think one of my favorite places in St. Louis is Seiwa-En, the Japanese Garden at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It dates from 1977, so it is now over four decades old. It is interesting to see that our current garden was not the first in St. Louis; there was also one at the Japanese…

The Linnean House, Missouri Botanical Garden

I looked at the Linnean House way back in May of 2008 (third photo), so I thought I would revisit it on the eve of renovations that will see the historic greenhouse integrated into a new entrance and visitors’ center. The design is typical of what is actually called an orangerie, which is where tropical…

The Climatron, Revisited

While not actually designed by R. Buckminster Fuller, the Climatron® remains one of the most important building to be influenced by his principles of the geodesic dome. It was actually designed by the St. Louis firm of Murphy and Mackey, which is still active here and opened in 1960, during a period of optimism in…

The Climatron

Update: I revisited the Climatron in June of 2022.  I think people probably forget how influential Murphy and Mackey’s geodesic dome actually is in the Missouri Botanical Garden. Its design was revolutionary, daring, and took a lot of guts on the part of administrators to choose such an unconventional design in contrast to the older,…

Cleveland Avenue Gatehouse, Shaw’s Garden

Update: I revisited the gatehouse in June of 2022. I’ve always been intrigued by this little house sitting right along the wall around Shaw’s Garden. Supposedly someone lives in it, but I’m not sure if that’s true. Identified by Shaw’s Garden as originally a stage coach stop, which seems very bizarre, I suspect it was…

Shaw’s Garden

Tower Grove House in the Botanical Gardens is one of those great examples of Italianate architecture in the middle of the city. Above is what I consider one of the iconic images of the garden, looking through the gates of the oldest portion of the institution. The entire house is surrounded and framed by various…