November 18, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Lauritzen Gardens is already internationally respected for its lush grounds, exhibits, educational programs, and events. Now it has become a truly year-round destination with the October opening of the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory.

The 17,000 square foot garden under glass is divided into two distinct zones: temperate and tropical. The temperate zone is planted in a way to evoke a stroll through the Gone With the Wind gardens of Savannah, Georgia, or Charleston, South Carolina. More exotic species, including palm trees and orchids, can be found in the tropical areas of the building that also boasts dramatic water features and panoramic views of the grounds from its perch on a bluff above the Missouri River.

Hard-edged materials of glass and steel evoke a decidedly organic quality in the structure nestled into a hillside that is designed to mirror the forms of budding heliconia flowers.

The $20 million project was backed by Heritages Services, whose fundraising efforts have contributed to the building of such Omaha landmarks as TD Ameritrade Park Omaha, the Holland Performing Arts Center, and CenturyLink Center Omaha, among countless others.

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