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Historical and Architectural Features

Following the path from the Japanese Garden to the Rose Garden, you will cross one of the many artifacts which helped the gardens earn the reputation as "the attic of Austin". The Congress Avenue foot bridges were used from 1870 to 1905 when this main thoroughfare was a dirt road, and bridges were needed for traversing the drainage ditches.

Butler WindowThe Butler Window is from the home of brick manufacturer Michael Butler. The unusual key-shaped window was the focal point of the house built in 1887 at 309 West 11th Street and contains granite used in the construction of the Capitol. The window was donated to the Garden Center in 1971 when the house was demolished.

The Mamie Wilson Rowe Summer House was bequeathed to the Center by this long-time resident of Austin. This house was located at Mrs. Rowe's Austin home at 209 West 10th Street, and moved here in April of 1968. The Optimistic Garden Club sponsored the restoration of the house. It is made of cypress wood and, if you look closely, you may see some of the original square nails used in construction.

The Antique Light Standards found in the parking area graced Lavaca Street from 1926 through 1976. In 1975, the City of Austin Electric Department donated them as a Bicentennial Project and the Austin Area Garden Council donated funds toward their installation.

Iron Entry Gates by Lars Stanley and Louis Herrera
The beautiful iron entry gates were dedicated in 1996. Local craftsmen Lars Stanley and Louis Herrera designed and constructed the gates to include plants found in the gardens.

The Rose Garden Gates provide entrance from Stratford Drive into the Hartman Prehistoric Garden and lead up the hill to the rose garden. The gates were a gift from David and Claudette Hartman in honor of his mother. The entrance was designed to blend into the hillside using massive limestone columns and forged steel gates decorated with cactus, yucca, and roses.

©Zilker Botanical Garden,
Austin Area Garden Council