The Arboretum at Penn State now has a Webcam that provides a panoramic view of the construction site for phase 1 of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. Check it out at http://www.arboretum.psu.edu/Webcam/index.html online. The view shows Park Avenue in the foreground and looks northwest toward Bald Eagle Ridge. Work is currently under way by contractor Leonard S. Fiore of Altoona, and is scheduled for completion in spring 2009.
HO Smith Botanic Gardens
HO Smith Botanic Gardens
Altoona-based general contractor Leonard S. Fiore Inc. has been named builder for phase 1 of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in the Arboretum at Penn State. Work is now under way and is scheduled for completion in spring 2009.
Penn State's Board of Trustees approved the start of construction of the Overlook Pavilion in The Arboretum at Penn State at its meeting today (March 21) in Washington, D.C. The one-story masonry structure is the architectural anchor in phase one of the Arboretum, the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. The 800-square-foot structure will include public restrooms, office space and a tool-storage area. Between April and November, the pavilion's event terrace will accommodate approximately 190 guests under a tent structure integrated with the pavilion design.
Penn State officially broke ground Friday (Nov. 2) for Phase I of the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens -- a long-anticipated step in making The Arboretum at Penn State a reality. Made possible by a $10 million gift from Penn State class of 1948 alumnus and State College resident Charles "Skip" Smith, the botanic gardens are named in honor of his late father, a State College contractor and real estate developer and a 1920 graduate of the University. The gardens will be located on the Mitchell tract, a 56-acre parcel of land along Park Avenue, and will serve as the front door to the larger Arboretum. Construction is now officially under way, with completion of the first phase scheduled for spring 2009.
Ground will be broken for Phase I of the H. O. Smith Botanic Gardens, part of The Arboretum at Penn State, at 4 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2. The event will be held at the future site of the botanic gardens, located adjacent to Park Avenue across from the Business and Forest Resources Buildings. The University community is invited to attend. Speakers will include Penn State President Graham Spanier, Arboretum Director Kim Steiner, and Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences Robert Steele. The Arboretum is expected to be a major cultural and tourist destination in central Pennsylvania, attracting nearly 200,000 visitors annually. Made possible by a $10 million gift from Penn State alumnus and State College resident Charles "Skip" Smith, the botanic gardens are named in honor of his late father, a State College contractor and real estate developer and an alumnus of the University. Completion of the first phase is scheduled for spring 2009.
Penn State has selected the nationally known architectural firm MTR Landscape Architects of Pittsburgh to begin designing the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens -- the next step in making The Arboretum at Penn State a reality. "MTR is a national-class designer of botanic gardens," said Arboretum Director Kim Steiner. "They have designed major projects for the Chicago and Missouri botanic gardens and quite a number of others that are considered among the best in the country." Design work will begin in August, with construction slated to start in January.
Most of the trees growing on land that is now the Arboretum at Penn State were cut and turned into charcoal to feed the Centre Furnace iron-making operation between 1792 and 1858. But one tract of about 42 acres, adjacent to what is now State College's Sunset Park, escaped the loggers' blades and now is receiving special attention. Forestry experts in the university's College of Agricultural Sciences are developing a plan to conserve the parcel and its old-growth trees, remove invasive plants and dirt-bike trails and ramps, and use the project as an educational model for students, the local community and arboretum visitors.
Penn State President Graham B. Spanier announced Friday (May 18) a gift commitment of $10 million from University alumnus and State College resident Charles H. "Skip" Smith to launch construction of The Arboretum at Penn State. The University's Board of Trustees will recognize this lead gift by naming the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in honor of Charles Smith's late father, a State College contractor and real estate developer. Occupying nearly 400 acres of land extending west and north from Park Avenue to the Mount Nittany Expressway, the Arboretum will be open to the public. The master plan for the arboretum, developed by the University in conjunction with the firm Marshall-Tyler-Rausch, includes plantings of species from around the world and state-of-the-art educational and research facilities. Future plans for the Arboretum include an education and visitors center, conservatory and children's garden.