Austin Area Garden Center
The story of the Garden
Center started in October 1954, when seven Austin Garden Clubs petitioned
the City of Austin, requesting permission to erect a Garden Center
on city property. The City Council granted such permission on November
15, 1962, allocating space in Zilker Park. The city retained ownership
of the land but agreed to furnish utilities, grounds maintenance
and building repairs to the new Garden Center.
The Austin clubs were
Violet Crown Garden Club, the Men's Garden Club, Wilshire Garden
Club, the Austin Women's Federation Garden Group, Heart of the Hills
Gardeners, Western Hills Garden Club and West Lake Hills Garden
Club. Together they organized the Austin Area Garden Council in
November 1955, and assumed responsibility for the viability of the
The council presented
plans for the building and adjacent gardens under the direction
of Mr. Beverly Sheffield, then Director of Parks and Recreation.
The Austin City Council approved the plans and construction began
with groundbreaking ceremonies on September 8, 1963. The attractive
stone building was completed and dedicated on October 25, 1964.
This was the beginning of what has become the focal point for thousands
of local patrons, school children and tourists who visit the Garden
and Center each year. The Center is the site of as many as 45 to
50 meetings each month, making the facility one of the most popular
buildings in the city.