Earlier this week, the Arts & Recreation Foundation’s Board of Directors and members of the Overland Park City Council enjoyed an exclusive sneak peek of LongHouse, the long-awaited new visitor center, at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
Our tour began at the impressive new driveway leading us to new parking areas and the impressive entrance to the building which showcases high wood-beamed ceilings and expansive windows. We wandered down the “gallery” past spaces for the classroom, the conference room, and administrative offices, as well as the gift shop and café. Our indoor tour culminated in the impressive event space on the lower level that flows to an outdoor terrace overlooking the new pond (not yet filled with water) that’s nearly the size of the existing Margaret’s Pond. Once outdoors, we walked past the reflecting pools that terrace toward the Train Garden and Serenity Point, complete with a show-stopper fountain in the center.
In addition to the event spaces indoors, the expansive lawns and terraces will be ideal locations for weddings and events, and the views across Margaret’s Pond to the gardens are unparalleled.
The Arts & Recreation Foundation and its Board would like to thank our guests for joining us on the tour! Councilmembers Fred Spears, Holly Grummert, Jim Kite, Sam Passer, and Scott Mosher joined us, as did Overland Park’s new City Manager, Lori Curtis Luther. Past Board Presidents Anna Randazzo, and Jim Holland were excited to see the progress on a project that started under their watches. And we were thrilled to include special guests Georgia Erickson and Janet Long who were so instrumental in making LongHouse a reality. We’d like to extend our thanks to City and Arboretum staff who guided our tour and shared their insight and expertise.
LongHouse is expected to open next summer. The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park would like to extend our thanks to all who contributed to the Growing to Inspire campaign which funded over half the cost of the project, and we look forward to celebrating with the community next summer! Mark your calendar for June 24th to join us at Stems: A Garden Soirée, when we’ll be able to introduce LongHouse to the community for the first time!