Inasmuch Foundation has committed $2.5 million to the second phase of a capital campaign to renovate the Crystal Bridge Conservatory at Myriad Botanical Gardens. This phase features a complete renovation of the interior conservatory spaces to enhance visitor engagement with a more diverse plant collection, interactive educational exhibits, improved ADA accessibility, and a museum-quality gift shop.
The announcement was made today. The Visitor Center lobby of the Crystal Bridge was renovated as part of the first phase of the capital campaign and completed in 2018, made possible by a major gift from Devon Energy. Phase one also included the renovation of lower-level classroom space for use by John Rex Middle School and a new horticulture classroom, funded by Inasmuch Foundation.
Since its opening in 1988, (pictured above) the Crystal Bridge Conservatory has remained largely unchanged. As the centerpiece of the Gardens, it is home to thousands of tropical and desert plants within 13,000 square feet, divided into two distinct climates: wet and dry. To see the history timeline visit here.
The forthcoming renovation will update aging infrastructure, allow for a more diverse plant collection with both permanent and rotating exhibits, as well as new and enhanced water elements, circulation paths and sitting areas. A terrace feature will overlook the conservatory and add much-needed educational programming and venue space. Improved accessibility, including an elevator, will enable people of all ages and physical abilities to fully enjoy the space.
“The Crystal Bridge at Myriad Botanical Gardens is such a recognizable structure in downtown Oklahoma City,” said Bob Ross, chairman and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation. “Staff at the Gardens continually strive to create wonderful spaces and learning opportunities for Oklahoma City. When I learned of plans for reimagining the tropical plant conservatory to create a superb visitor experience, I knew Inasmuch Foundation would want to support this initiative. The second phase of the Crystal Bridge renovation capitalizes on the momentum of current downtown development.”
Maureen Heffernan, CEO of Myriad Gardens Foundation and Scissortail Park Foundation, said she appreciates the visionary leadership demonstrated by the Inasmuch Foundation and its major giving support.
“This gift enables Myriad Botanical Gardens to significantly improve our Conservatory experience so it is as transformational as the outdoor renovation was completed in 2011. An updated and more engaging Conservatory will help attract visitors from all of the major downtown development near the Gardens including Scissortail Park and the Convention Center and Omni Hotel. This investment will further strengthen the Gardens’ standing as one of the premier cultural attractions in Oklahoma City.”
Adds Jim Tolbert, Chair Emeritus of Myriad Gardens Foundation, “The interior of the Crystal Bridge has not been renewed since its opening. This visionary gift from Inasmuch Foundation will allow a vast enhancement of both its educational and visitor experience.”
CRYSTAL BRIDGE FACTS
The Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory opened to the public in 1988.
- 13,000 square feet
- 224 feet long
- 70 feet wide
- 3,028 double layer translucent panels
Two Climate Zones
- Tropical Wet Zone
- Tropical Dry Zone
Total Number of Plants
- More than 1,000
Number of Plant Varieties
Annual Number of Visitors
- 70,000 to 90,000
Funders to Date
- Inasmuch Foundation
- *City of Oklahoma City
- Gaylord Foundation
- Kirkpatrick Family Fund
- The Meinders Foundation
- Murase and Associates – Landscape Architects
- ADG – Architects
- Charles Sparks + Company – Retail Designer and Planner
- Gecko Group – Education, Exhibit and Interpretative Consultants
- Lingo Construction – Construction Manager
- The Crystal Bridge Conservatory will close for renovation in spring 2021
- A grand re-opening will take place in spring/summer 2022