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Blakeview: City Park's Botanical Garden

The park's Rose Garden opened in 1936 as part of a Works Progress Administration project

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There's still time to see City Park's dazzling Celebration in the Oaks holiday light display before it closes New Year's Day. Thousands of lights sparkle in the park's Botanical Garden, which has been a feature of City Park since the 1930s. It was preceded by the City Park Rose Garden, which opened in 1936 as a project of the Works Progress Administration. Showcasing the work of architect Richard Koch and landscape architect William Wiedorn, it featured sunken rose beds, a rectangular fish pool, arbor and radiating walkways. In 1976, Pauline and Frank Worthington donated funds to help build a new glass conservatory, providing an enclosed environment for plants and flowers. In the 1980s, the Friends of City Park enhanced the gardens by enclosing the area with a sculpted gate featuring the work of Enrique Alferez, whose sculpture is on display elsewhere in the park. Paul Soniat joined the park in 1982 as director of the Botanical Garden. In 1994, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters opened. Built with a major donation from the Azby Fund, it is named in honor of sisters Emelia Wadsworth and Marion Wadsworth Harvey. The Botanical Garden was devastated by Hurricane Katrina but reopened in March 2006, thanks to the work of volunteers and staff.

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