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Denver Botanic Gardens emerged in the middle of the last century, a moment in time that is marked by optimism. American ideals and attitudes were affected by post-war hopefulness. The economy was booming and new technologies were finding their way into commercial goods, like appliances and cars. The design of this period was flavored with this enthusiasm for and confidence in innovation.

As a result, the Gardens is home to some of Denver’s most significant architecture. Beginning in 1951 with its relationship with landscape architect and city planner Saco DeBoer, the Gardens has employed luminaries in landscape and building design, including architects Victor Hornbein and Ed White, Jr. and landscape designer Garrett Eckbo. The strength of their contributions and clarity of their vision continue to frame how the gardens are viewed and experienced to this day.

Explore connections between landmark architecture and newer additions to the Gardens. The2008 parking structure and Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center were designed to complement the original 1966 Hornbein and White Boettcher Memorial Conservatory. Hear about the opportunities and challenges of designing under the shadow of one of Denver’s most famous buildings.

Bonfils-Stanton Visitor Center (Garden Features)audio

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Hidden Conservatory Pattern (Garden Features)audio

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Fountains (Garden Features)audio

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Gates Montane (Garden Features)audio

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Japanese Garden (Garden Features)audio

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Cast Concrete (Garden Features)audio

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Interior Details (Garden Features)audio

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Library Furniture (Garden Features)audio

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Rima (Garden Features)audio

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Photography © Denver Botanic Gardens

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