The Robert B. Haspel Garden Stage
The seeds for the New Orleans Botanical Garden were planted in 1936, when the City Park Rose Garden opened. The New Orleans Botanical Garden was funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), created New Orleans’ first public classical garden. Today, it is one of the few remaining examples of public garden design from the WPA and showcases the Art Deco influences of three renowned talents of the era: architect Richard Koch, landscape architect William Wiedorn, and sculptor Enrique Alférez. The public garden was rechristened the New Orleans Botanical Garden in the early 1980s.
Located inside New Orleans City Park and surrounded by the nation’s largest stand of mature live oaks, the New Orleans Botanical Garden contains more than 2,000 varieties of plants from around the world. Visitors will find aquatics, roses, native plants, ornamental trees, shrubs, perennials and more inside various theme gardens. Highlights of the Botanical Garden include the Conservatory of Two Sisters, the New Orleans Historic Train Garden, the Yakumo Nihon Teien Japanese Garden, the Pavilion of the Two Sisters, the Garden Study Center, Lath House and the Robert B. Haspel Garden Stage.
In August 2005, the Botanical Garden - along with the entire New Orleans region - suffered a serious blow when Hurricane Katrina made landfall. Category 3+ winds severely damaged trees throughout City Park and the vast majority of the garden’s plant collection was lost in the ensuing flood, which submerged City Park’s grounds in three feet of water for nearly two weeks. The weeks-long power outage also disabled the garden’s automatic watering systems, which devastated an extensive collection of containerized greenhouse plants, including orchids, staghorn ferns, and bromeliads. With the generous support of volunteers and donors, the New Orleans Botanical Garden re-opened to the public on March 4, 2006, a mere six months after the hurricane.