OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – After undergoing extensive renovations, an icon in the heart of Oklahoma City is reopening on Friday. We’re talking about the Crystal Bridge Conservatory at the Myriad Botanical Gardens.
With all new flooring, pathways, plants and a cascading waterfall, the Crystal Bridge Conservatory downtown is back open for business.
“We’ve hopefully made this better and more interesting and more beautiful,” said Maureen Heffernan, the CEO of the Myriad Botanical Gardens and Scissortail Park.
The $11 million overhaul to the roughly 35-year-old, 224-foot long building started in April 2021.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out,” said Nate Tschaenn, Director of Horticulture. “Seeing the plants where they are, how well they’ve been growing over the past few months.”
Tschaenn estimates about 500 different species of plants now sit inside. Among them are bananas, pineapples and other fruit trees.
Guests will also notice that it isn’t the overgrown jungle experience of the past right now. However, Heffernan said to just give it time.
“It will get there,” she said. “But in the meantime, the light in the architecture shines through beautifully and there’s a better labeling interpretation to see and learn more about all the plants that are here.”
Heffernan said there’s still some work to do, but with a reflecting pool, multi-purpose classroom, oculus gallery, discovery room and sensory sky walk, she said they are ready to welcome back young students for field trips and beyond.
“They’re going to experience a completely new redesign and Crystal Bridge,” Heffernan said.
People can also host birthdays and small weddings, too.
“It is gorgeous. It is beautiful,” Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt said. “It’s going to be a really cool place for our residents and our visitors to come and refresh and get in touch with nature.”
The grand reopening for the conservatory is this weekend, Nov. 18-20.
For information on admission costs and several other things you can visit their website.