TOWER GROVE, Mo. (KMOX) – Its has stood up to wind, snow, and steaming hot summers since before the Civil War. Now the elements, have begun taking a toll on the historic east wall bordering the Missouri Botanical Garden.
The 10-foot white stone wall that runs along Tower Grove was the original perimeter for Henry Shaw’s property, and was standing tall and proud when the Garden first opened to the public way back in 1859.
But Executive Vice President at Missouri Botanical Garden, Bob Herleth says the historic barrier has started to show its age in recent years.
“We’ve been watching it very closely,” said Herleth as the wall definitely appears to be leaning. Herleth says for the past five years the wall has developed some cracks and holes as well.
But finding funding to fix the wall has been a big challenge because the Missouri Botanical Garden wants to restore the wall to its original glory instead of building a new one made from modern-day materials.
“The wall is really part of the historic fabric of the garden,” said Herleth. “The garden was designated a national historic landmark in 1976. Also I think for those who live in the immediate neighborhoods its part of the everyday fabric of this neighborhood.”
Fortunately, Herleth said the Missouri Botanical Garden did secure a grant in 2011 from the Department of Interior. That grant of more than a half-million dollars, combined with a local match and some donations, will allow crews to rebuild the wall as close to the original specs as possible — after all, that was good enough to last more than 150 years.
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