Close to the heart of Columbus, Ohio, the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens are a sight to behold. People visit throughout the year because the curators make sure there is something entertaining for everyone. Since its inception in 1895, the center has grown to become one of Columbus’ most popular tourist destinations. You can have a great day just wandering around this stunning landmark. Not only are the plants stunning, but the artwork is also outstanding. The Franklin Park Conservatory & Botanical Gardens are open every day and cost only a small amount to see. The building has been transformed into a horticultural and educational institution where visitors may view unique exhibitions and works by Dale Chihuly with rare and exotic plant collections.
Over four hundred plant species can be found in the conservatory. The Himalayas, a Tropical Rainforest, a Desert, and a Pacific Island Water Garden are all biomes that reflect different climate zones around the world. There is also a Show-house with seasonal displays, orchids, and tropical bonsai collections, and a Palm House with more than 40 types of palms. The 88-acre city park named after the neighborhood, Franklin Park, completely surrounds the conservatory.
The first Franklin County Fair was held on land purchased by the Franklin County Agricultural Society in 1852. The fairgrounds were located two miles east of Columbus’s downtown. By 1874, the Franklin County Agricultural Society had recognized the site’s significance, expanded it to 93 acres, and designated it as the Ohio State Fair’s permanent home. Until 1884, when it was relocated north of Columbus, the state fair was held there. Since the transformation, the property has been left vacant. The Ohio State Legislature revived the land on May 17, 1886, when it enacted a resolution designating the area as a public park.
The World’s Fair and Columbian Exposition held in Chicago in 1893 had a significant impact on American society and culture. The Columbus municipal government was so impressed with the Exposition’s Glass Palace that they decided to establish their own horticulture facility in its place. When completed in 1895, the Franklin Park Conservatory was a glass building in the grand Victorian style that stood in Franklin Park. The conservatory was owned and run by the Columbus Recreation & Parks Department from 1895 until 1989. Unfortunately, the documents of the conservatory’s early years were lost in a fire that broke out in Columbus City Hall in 1921, so we know very little about its early history. Newspapers and first-hand accounts provide a wealth of information on the conservatory’s past. Classes are available for children and adults of all ages, as well as school groups. It offers visitors a chance to get their hands dirty while learning about nature, gardening, and the arts through its enormous plant collections and special exhibitions.
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