Boerner botanical gardens visitors center

Milwaukee, WI

A Living Work of Art

The Historic Botanical Gardens are the central integral feature of this project. The visitor center was envisioned as a later complimentary addition to the already colorful and rich natural palette.

The new 52,000 s.f. Education and Visitors Center is a stone and glass structure, that captures the spirit of the English country garden. The high glass roof offers visitors a light filled atrium for the orientation to the history of the gardens.


As the largest public room able to seat 300, Boerner Hall features a large glass openings for stunning views of the Gardens and a connection to the Garden Terrace. The Garden Room offers a flexible and intimate gathering experience and when combined with Boerner Hall or the Atrium accommodates larger events. An eight sided Gazebo offers visitors an intimate gathering space for dining with views of the garden. The Multimedia Room arranged for presentations and demonstrations is just one of the classrooms ideal for art or garden workshops. All classrooms feature counter space and sinks. The building also houses e, interpretive exhibits, gift shop, and space for staff and volunteers. The new center will become an all season attraction for tourism, while serving the horticultural and educational needs of the community.

Charles B. Whitnall, Secretary of the Milwaukee County Park Commission, set aside a large tract of land as a haven for city dwellers – a place people could go to enjoy lakes, streams, wildlife, flowers and trees. Alfred L. Boerner guided the ongoing development of the Gardens. Boerner Botanical Gardens is located just 15 minutes from downtown Milwaukee.