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Denver Botanic Gardens Tops Off New Freyer - Newman Center

With funds from the Elevate Denver Bond Program, the Center puts down roots for expanded scientific and artistic programming  

people signing i-beam at topping out ceremony

DENVER – Denver Botanic Gardens leadership and donors today placed the final beam in the new Freyer - Newman Center for Science, Art and Education, marking a major project milestone. Fusing art and science, the Center will feature a library, art galleries, an auditorium for public lectures and film series, state-of-the-art laboratories, and herbaria for vascular plants, mushrooms and slime molds. A coffee shop will be accessible from York street and a children’s zone will be added to the Boettcher Memorial Center as part of the project.

“With more than 1.3 million visitors a year, the Denver Botanic Gardens are one of the most popular public gardens in North America,” Mayor Michael B. Hancock said. “The people of Denver appreciate this paradise in their own backyard and dedicated $18 million to expand the science, art and education features of the facility through the voter-approved Elevate Denver Bond Program.”   

workers at topping out ceremony

The project received an additional $24 million in funding from private donors, including significant funds from Ginny and John Freyer and Robert and Judi Newman, who provide the center its name.

Created in 1951, the Denver Botanic Gardens blends horticultural and art, science and creativity. By experiencing the gardens, visitors of all ages and backgrounds are able to better understand society’s connections to plants and nature within the Rocky Mountain Region.

“The combination of bond support and countless donors brings us to this wonderful moment of enabling us to foresee the completion of the Freyer – Newman Center for Science, Art and Education and the entire 2008 Master Development Plan,” said Brian Vogt, CEO of Denver Botanic Gardens. “We are deeply grateful, and so ready for a new era of impact.”


After breaking ground in May 2018, the project is now nearly half complete. The LEED GOLD building, designed by Davis Partnership Architects and constructed by G.H. Phipps, is slated to open in 2020.  

workers at topping out ceremony

A time lapse video of the construction work is available here. For more information on the project, please visit the Denver Botanic Gardens website or the Elevate Denver Bond Program website.  

Green inside and out, Denver Botanic Gardens was founded in 1951 and is considered one of the top botanical gardens in the United States and a pioneer in water conservation. Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Gardens’ living collections encompass specimens from the tropics to the tundra, showcasing a plant palette chosen to thrive in Colorado’s semi-arid climate. The Gardens is a dynamic, 24-acre urban oasis in the heart of the city, offering unforgettable opportunities to flourish with unique garden experiences for the whole family – as well as world-class education and plant conservation research programs. Additional sites extend this experience throughout the Front Range: Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield is a 700-acre native plant refuge with an active farm in Jefferson County; Mount Goliath is a high-altitude trail and interpretive site on the Mount Evans Scenic Byway. The Gardens also manages programming at Plains Conservation Center in Aurora.

Elevate Denver is a 10-year, $937 million general obligation bond program, approved by voters in 2017, to enhance the City and County of Denver by providing critical improvements to the city’s infrastructure – improving roads and sidewalks, parks and recreation centers, libraries and safety facilities, cultural centers, Denver Health and public-owned buildings.