301 W. Reno
Oklahoma City, OK 73102

Crystal Bridge: Ticket Required
Open daily, 9am-5pm;
Sunday, 11am-5pm
Outdoor Grounds: Open daily 6am-11pm

Myriad Botanical Gardens History

From the 1960s to today

Quick Facts

  • Myriad Botanical Gardens of OKC was born as part of a downtown urban renewal project called the Pei Plan dreamed up by city leaders and legendary architect I.M. Pei in the late 60s.
  • Dean A. McGee, an oil pioneer and founder and CEO of what was then Kerr-McGee Oil Corporation, was a huge proponent of building this centrally-located garden.
  • It was named after “the Myriad”, or what was formerly known as the Cox Convention Center, and is now Prairie Surf Media.
  • Initial design of Myriad Botanical Gardens was based on Copenhagen’s Tivoli Gardens and city leaders even made a trip to Denmark to study its design.
  • A nation-wide search was made for the architects that would design the Myriad Gardens. In 1971, the New York architectural firm Conklin + Rossant was chosen.
  • City leaders and members of the Myriad Gardens Authority broke ground on the 17-acre plot for the garden on Nov. 17, 1977. The area was constructed as money was available.
  • In 1981, leaders formed the Myriad Gardens Foundation in order to raise private funds for the construction of the Crystal Bridge Tropical Conservatory.
  • The Inasmuch Foundation Crystal Bridge Conservatory was constructed from 1983-1985, but it did not open to the public until March 25, 1988.
  • Myriad Gardens and its Crystal Bridge received a facelift thanks to funds from Project 180. In addition to new landscaping, the park also received a new children’s garden, a new restaurant space, and reglazed acrylic panels on the Crystal Bridge.
  • The Conservatory underwent a nearly 2-year, $11 million renovation from April 2021 through November 2022.

Take 10 minutes to watch this YouTube video featuring the Oklahoma City leaders that lived this history!