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Hear and comment on plans for W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory

December 1, 2015

Wright Park attraction in need of restoration, renovation

Metro Parks Tacoma is poised to embark on improvements to the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory, and managers would like your input.

The first of two public meetings to discuss renovation and expansion is scheduled for 6 p.m. Dec. 3 in the Metro Parks headquarters Board Room, 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma.

The conservatory is a historic treasure that has graced the east side of Wright Park since 1908.  But after more than a century of use, the Victorian-style structure is short of space and needs a face-lift. To better serve Tacoma’s citizens, a renovation and expansion is under discussion that would allow the conservatory to deliver needed services and programs now and in the future.

For example, the conservatory lacks public restrooms and adequate space for horticultural workshops.  At the meeting Dec. 3, SHKS Architects will present possible additions and plans for the restoration of historic facades that once surrounded the conservatory’s entrances.

The building is one of three public Victorian-style conservatories on the West Coast and is listed on city, state and national historic registers. In all, 3,000 glass panes cover its 12-sided dome and two wings. The conservatory houses more than 250 species of plants, including more than 200 orchids. Its mission is to connect people with nature.

The conservatory is named for its original benefactor, W.W. Seymour. Seymour was a prominent Tacoma banker and businessman, served briefly as Tacoma’s mayor and was president of the Metropolitan Park District Board of Commissioners from 1909 until 1911.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but would like to comment on the plans, please call Project Manager Kristi Evans at (253) 305-1054 or send a message to The date of the second meeting will be announced later.

Learn more about W.W. Seymour Conservatory improvements.

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