Jewel Box photo by Bob Moore

The Jewel Box

The Jewel Box, an Art Deco floral conservatory built in 1936 by the City of St. Louis, has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The designation was given by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior because it is, "locally significant in the area of architecture

The Art Deco building is an outstanding example of greenhouse design." The application was submitted by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis on behalf of the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. The Cabanne House, home of the St. Louis Ambassadors, is the only other structure in Forest Park on the National Register of Historic Places.

The floral conservator was designed by William Becker, an engineer with the City's Board of Public Service. It has been widely hailed for its radical engineering and its design quality, with unconventional, cantilevered, vertical glass walls rising majestically 50 feet high. The building has 15,000 square feet of glass and all horizontal surfaces are constructed of metal. It is surrounded by rose gardens, lily ponds, statuary and monuments. A $3.5 million renovation in 2002 included new and/or specially cleaned glass, modern heating and cooling systems, lead paint and asbestos abatement, new floral displays and a reconfiguration of the layout. New amenities such as a bride's room, catering facilities, additional restrooms and a central fountain have created a unique and charming gem for St. Louis. Permanent floral installations are enhanced on a seasonal basis with flowering plants from the City's greenhouses.

The regular hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Admission is $1. It is free from 9 a.m. to noon on Mondays and Tuesdays. The Jewel Box is located on Wells and McKinley Drives, east of the St. Louis Zoo in Forest Park. For more information, call 314-531-0080. The Jewel Box is available for rental for weddings and other special events through the St. Louis City's Parks Department. Call 314-289-5300 for information or reservations. (Closed until further notice.)

Jewel Box photo by Bob Moore

The 12' bronze statue St. Francis of Assisi was created by sculptor Carl Mose,  art professor at Saint Louis University.

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