Linnean House, Missouri Botanical Gardens


The Linnean House, named after Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, is a greenhouse located on the grounds of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis. Constructed in 1882, it is the oldest continuously-serving public greenhouse west of the Mississippi River. Designed by regarded architect George I. Barnett, the greenhouse was constructed with elaborate masonry, wood doors and windows, and a half-slate, half-glass roof. The Linnean House has undergone several major renovations throughout its history. Originally designed to hold citrus trees in the winter, the house was transformed into a cool display greenhouse after World War I. Since then, the greenhouse has featured subtropical plant collections, particularly camellias. Today, the Linnean House remains open to the public. A portion of the conservatory has been restored to its original use as an orangery, transporting modern visitors back to the greenhouse’s roots. 

The greenhouse is one of the oldest features of the Missouri Botanical Garden, a world-renowned institution dedicated to the study of botany. Founded by Henry Shaw in 1859, the garden is one of the oldest continuously operating botanical gardens in the United States. Shaw envisioned the garden to serve two purposes: to connect St. Louisans to basic botany and to foster botanical education. For much of its 162-year history, the Missouri Botanical Gardens has been an international leader in horticultural research and education, housing a research center, a library, and a museum. Offering 79-acres of botanical displays, historic architecture, and an extensive collection of rare and endangered plants, the garden continues to serve as a center of beauty, education, and conservation.

Object Details

Categories: Arts & Culture

Creator: Barnett, George I.

Date: 1882

Subject: Public architecture, Parks, Tower Grove Park (Saint Louis, Mo.)

Contributing Institution: Missouri Historical Society

Accession Number: N37002

Copy Request: Transmission or reproduction of items on these pages beyond those allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the Missouri Historical Society: 314-746-4510

Rights: The text and images contained in this collection are intended for research and educational use only. Duplication of any of these images for commercial use without express written consent is expressly prohibited. Contact the Missouri Historical Society's Permissions Office at 314-746-4511 to obtain written consent.

County: St. Louis City

Region: St. Louis Metro

Type: Photograph

Latitude: 38.614904

Longitude: -90.257630

Photographer: William G. Swekosky, 1894-1963

Photograph Date: 1905