Transformation produces ‘myriad’ benefits for this downtown botanical garden.
“Someone’s sitting in the shade today, because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”
Warren Buffet’s apt observation will hold true for future generations of Oklahoma City residents, in part thanks to this major renovation of the city’s downtown Myriad Botanical Gardens. As part of a more than $42 million renovation project spearheaded by the city, the Myriad Gardens Foundation and the Alliance for Economic Development, the entire 17-acre site was dramatically transformed. The resulting improvements have turned the formerly run-down gardens into a vital interactive urban park – one whose dramatic outdoor features, lush landscapes, living plant museum and special events draw thousands of visitors each year.
The new concept for the gardens creates the perfect blend of art and nature. The FSB team’s engineering skills were utilized on features such as a new band shell and outdoor pavilion, which accommodate the gardens’ regular outdoor concerts and other events. Constructed of diaphanous bent steel tubes with three intersecting parabolic arches, the simple, elegant geometric patterns of the band shell tie together aesthetically with the pavilion and the gardens’ showcase feature ─ the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory. Forming a graceful perimeter around the event lawn and pavilion area are 65 cypress and red oak trees, donated by FSB in honor of the company’s 65th anniversary.
Since the project’s completion, the Myriad Botanical Gardens has become a destination visitors seek out for everything from a Saturday night concert to a lazy Sunday in the city or a seasonal arts festival. Attendance has skyrocketed, and for the first time in its history the gardens have also become a sought-after location for weddings. With its lush, modern look, the revitalized Myriad Botanical Gardens stand as a perfect example of the renaissance of Oklahoma City’s entire downtown district.