Emerson Donates $3 Million To Renovate Ridgway Visitor Center | Business
St. Louis-based Emerson has made a generous gift of $3 million toward the renovation of the 28-year-old Ridgway Visitor Center at the Missouri Botanical Garden. The renovations, taking place in several phases beginning in January 2011, will create a world-class gateway that reflects the Garden’s brand and mission and meets the needs of visitors in the 21stcentury.
The transformed Ridgway Visitor Center will allow the Garden to better welcome, orient and inform its hundreds of thousands of annual visitors, accommodate their physical needs and enhance their experience of the Garden.
The first phase of the renovations will begin on January 17 and includes the replacement of the Ridgway Visitor Center’s barrel vault roof which has experienced “fiber blooms” over many panels, clouding its appearance. The roof also has multiple leaks, no thermal break and no insulation.
The new roof will feature next-generation, three-inch-thick Kalwall panels which resist fiber blooms and will include thermal breaks and insulation. The new barrel vault roof will restore the beauty and drama of the Ridgway Visitor Center for years to come and reap energy savings. Roof renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of May.
The next phase of Ridgway Visitor Center renovations will include new and expanded restrooms, the installation of a second elevator, reconfiguration and improvement of the Grigg Lobby, work on the Jordan Education Wing, key infrastructure improvements and visitor experience enhancements. Future renovations will improve the Garden Gate Shop, Orthwein Floral Display Hall, Sassafras café and Shoenberg Theater.
Beginning January 17, the Ridgway Visitor Center will close early at 3 p.m. on weekdays for necessary repairs to the barrel vault roof panels. The Garden grounds will remain open until 5 p.m. daily throughout construction.
Monday through Friday after 3 p.m., visitors can access the Garden grounds and the Garden Gate Shop through alternate entrances on the east side of the Ridgway Visitor Center.
The Sassafras café will close early at 3 p.m. on weekdays, with lunch served until 2 p.m. The Ridgway Visitor Center will remain open as usual until 5 p.m. on weekends.
Admission to the Missouri Botanical Garden is $8; St. Louis City and County residents enjoy discounted admission of $4 and free admission on Wednesday and Saturday mornings until noon. Children ages 12 and under and Garden members are free.
The Missouri Botanical Garden is located at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in south St. Louis, accessible from Interstate 44 at the Vandeventer exit and from Interstate 64 at the Kingshighway North & South exit. Free parking is available on-site and two blocks west at the corner of Shaw and Vandeventer.
For general information, visit www.mobot.org or call (314) 577?5100 (toll-free, 1-800-642-8842).