Botanical Garden's new entrance under construction

·2 min read

Sep. 4—Work is well underway on the new entrance to the Western Kentucky Botanical Garden, which will be at 2731 W. Second St. when the work is completed.

But Laurna Strehl, the garden's executive director, said the grand opening for the project will be delayed until March, "when the garden will be at its best."

That event will be a "relaunch of the garden," she said.

The current entrance is off Carter Road, and the garden is largely hidden from traffic on Second Street.

But that's about to change, Strehl said.

Landscapes by Dallas Foster, a 40-year-old Vincennes, Indiana, company, has been hired to create a "WOW factor" for the entrance.

Strehl said, "It will be a show stopper."

Last year, the garden bought the former WeatherBerry Bed & Breakfast, a home built in 1840, to become a welcome center, office and gift shop.

The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.

The Daviess County Property Valuation Administrator's office says the sale price last year was $475,000.

But the site says the home and the acre it sits on are worth $817,300 today.

A new 14-vehicle parking lot is being built just west of the 4,000-square-foot house and will connect with the current parking lot, which is behind it.

Plans call for the parking lot to be enlarged when money becomes available.

Strehl said the new entrance will provide a great view of the "beautiful home" and its "gorgeous front porch, which evokes Southern hospitality. It will make a very good first impression on visitors."

The porch covers 1,344 square feet. The new entrance and the 19th century Greek Revival house "will create a much more positive impression," Strehl said. She said the garden will likely begin moving its office into the house this winter.

The Western Kentucky Botanical Garden opened in 1993 after Dr. Bill and Susie Tyler donated 10 acres of farmland to the city with the stipulation that eight acres would be used for a botanical garden and two acres would be left for native wildlife habitat.

Keith Lawernce, 270-691-7301


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