The Jewel Box Botanical Garden is the gem of astonishing Forest Park in St Louis, Missouri. Formally known as the Saint Louis Floral Conservatory, the art-deco landmark has been a winter retreat and a popular wedding destination for over 80 years. 

During the early part of the twentieth century, the city of St Louis enveloped a catastrophic smog. The town was an industrial powerhouse and the residue o the areas many factories were beginning to take its toll on the plants and trees.  The greenhouse was built to house those plants that could survive the harsh atmospheric conditions.

Today the structure houses some tropical as well as year-long flower displays.  The glass cathedral-like setting and the verdant floral displays make the jewel box a popular location for weddings.

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Tiered like a glass and steel wedding cake, the building’s design belies the expansive interior

jbb1jbb3jb6jb5jb4jb3WaterLillies may be my favorite flower to photograph. There something very serene about them. There is a large reflecting pool outside of the conservatory, and I was fortuitous to be there while they were in bloom.

 

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Even my favorite saint. St Francis was represented. (I am not Catholic, but I have read a lot of St. Francis’ writings and admired much of what he had to say)

 

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The structure is glass reinforced with copper. The roof is wooden to help the Jewlbox from being damaged, from the area’s seasonal hailstorms. 

jb7The Jewel box has several viewing platforms that allow visitors to many varied vantages

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View from an upper platform

 

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The center plaza area can be opened up and cleared for chairs for weddings and other celebrations

 

 

 

 

While officially just a moniker, “The Jewel Box” is aptly named. Admission is only a dollar, and the conservatory is a precious get away from harsh Midwestern winters and is worth a visit anytime you are in Saint Louis. 

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