Designer for Phase 2 of Botanical Building and Gardens Restoration Announced

Balboa Park’s Botanical Building and Gardens is entering the second phase of its historic restoration project. Phase 2, managed by the nonprofit Forever Balboa Park, reached an important milestone in hiring Spurlock Landscape Architects for the design of the exterior gardens.

The Botanical Building and Gardens Phase 1 restoration began in January of 2022, when the building closed to the public for construction. Phase 1, the restoration of the building and interior botanical displays, is led by the City of San Diego.

The Botanical Building is scheduled to reopen in 2024 and will continue to be operated by the city. Since the pre-planning phase, Forever Balboa Park has been a primary partner in spearheading the project, raising money for conceptual plans, renderings, and 60% construction documents to initiate the restoration, which were donated to the City of San Diego.

Balboa Park

Phase 2: Revitalizing the Botanical Building’s Exterior Gardens

Phase 2, led by Forever Balboa Park, will restore, reconstruct, and revitalize the Botanical Building exterior gardens. More specifically, Phase 2 includes designing and implementing enhanced gardens and irrigation surrounding the building, improving the walkways, reconstructing the pergola that originally stood on the west lawn near The San Diego Museum of Art, and restoring the two exterior fountains.

Forever Balboa Park is also raising funds for public engagement programming and its volunteer Garden Stewards program to care for the exterior gardens once the project is complete. Phase 2 will directly follow the completion of Phase 1.

After receiving several proposals from award-winning firms from across the country, Forever Balboa Park selected Spurlock Landscape Architects as the consultant team for Phase 2, and the design work begins this month. Once Phase 2 designs are approved, Forever Balboa Park will issue an RFP and hire a contractor to complete the installation of the exterior gardens and construction of the historic pergola.

Collaboration with Spurlock Landscape Architects and Future Visions

“Forever Balboa Park is excited to begin the next phase of the Botanical Building and Gardens project with the Spurlock team. They bring a depth of experience and knowledge from working with the City of San Diego Parks and Recreation department, the city’s Development Services department, and many notable botanical gardens projects across the country,” said Forever Balboa Park’s Vice President of Planning, Jackie Higgins.

Spurlock Landscape Architects

“Spurlock is thrilled to continue our collaboration with Forever Balboa Park on the next phase of the Botanical Building and Gardens project. We look forward to helping reinvigorate a beloved and iconic community open space. The restored Botanical Building and Gardens provides an excellent opportunity to incorporate forward-thinking conservation principles and dynamic displays that celebrate the unique seasonality and natural phenomena of our unparalleled climate, connecting people to where they live,” said Leigh Kyle, Principal of Spurlock Landscape Architects.

The vision for the restored exterior gardens is to create a community space where visitors can connect and learn about nature. The revitalized exterior gardens will extend and complement the Botanical Building’s interior horticultural experience to inspire new generations of plant enthusiasts and nature lovers.

See you there!

Forever Balboa Park is currently in the major gifts phase of its Phase 2 capital campaign, raising private dollars for the Botanical Building and Gardens restoration. Funds raised go directly to the building of the Phase 2 exterior gardens and associated volunteer and educational programs. Information about making a gift and naming and recognition opportunities is available here.

See you there, San Diego!

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