The Horticulture Center, a modern exhibition hall and greenhouse, is located in beautiful West Fairmount Park. The Center was built in 1979 and sits on the site of the former Horticultural Hall and the 1876 Centennial Exposition building. The grounds and greenhouses are open daily and the venue can host private parties from 100 to 1,200 guests.
In 1876, Philadelphia was the host city for America’s Centennial Exhibition. Horticultural Hall was one of the two large exhibit halls at the Fair that were meant to become permanent additions to Fairmount Park. The current Fairmount Park Horticulture Center, constructed in 1976, stands in its place. Along with the construction of Horticultural Hall, an arboretum was planted for the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. This arboretum became known as the Centennial Arboretum with foundation plantings completed in 1877.
Although Horticultural Hall was demolished in 1955 after suffering severe damage from Hurricane Hazel, the Centennial Arboretum still exists. Many new trees have been planted to complement the few original trees still standing proudly on the grounds.
Fairmount Park’s Horticulture Center is also home to many interesting pieces of art. There are fountains and sculpture displayed throughout the grounds to accent the plants. Prominently displayed indoors, is the Seaweed Girl Fountain by Beatrice Fenton. In the outdoor display, Gambol II by Robert David Lasus can be seen behind the Cherry Allée and from Belmont Avenue. Whether you are here for a stroll through the Arboretum, a picnic under the trees, or to look at the brilliant horticultural displays, we hope you enjoy your visit to the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum.
PLEASE NOTE 3/27/2020: The greenhouse at Fairmount Park Horticulture Center is closed until further notice, though the grounds remain open. See below for gate-opening times.
Greenhouse: Closed until further notice.
Horticulture Center grounds:
8am – 6pm from April 1 – Oct 31
8am – 5pm from Nov 1 – Mar 31
Visitors are welcome free of charge.
Philadelphia, PA 19131
RIDE SEPTA: Accessible from SEPTA bus routes, 38 and 40 and the 15 trolley.
BIKE: Bike parking is available on site.
DRIVE: We recommend taking Lyft. Parking is also available.
- No fires or barbeques are allowed.
- Dogs are permitted on a 6-foot leash on the grounds only.
- Professional and wedding photography allowed by permit.
Whether you are visit Fairmount Park Horticulture Center for a stroll through the Arboretum, a picnic under the trees, or to look at the brilliant horticultural displays, we hope you enjoy your visit to the Fairmount Park Horticulture Center and Centennial Arboretum.
Walk among collections of tropical and succulent plants throughout the year. Also, admire the historic statuary and fountains!
Maintained by volunteers and local organizations, these flower beds and garden spaces show different garden styles and functions. The Demonstration Gardens are most colorful through the spring, summer, and fall.
Originally the Sunken Garden, this large fountain was constructed in the 1970s. It is one of the first fountains in Fairmount Park to operate each spring, usually sometime in April.
These trees were donated in 2003 by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia as part of a campaign to plant 1,000 trees by 2007. It is a spectacular sight in spring when they all flower at once!
With views of the Reflecting Pool and the Butterfly Garden, the Gazebo is a great place to relax and enjoy the heart of the Centennial Arboretum.
Constructed in collaboration with Penn State Cooperative Extension, this garden is filled with flowers and butterflies during the summer months.
Pavilion in the Trees
Designed by Martin Puryear and completed in 1993, the Pavilion is a tranquil retreat for visitors. The Pavilion is a perfect setting to relax, read, or talk with friends and family.
Shofuso, the Japanese House, is a beautiful attraction. Visit Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia’s website or call 215-878-5097 for information.
The Fairmount Park Horticulture Center opened in 1979 and is home to a lovely greenhouse filled with a variety of tropical plants. Feel free to download these free botanical coloring pages, featuring select tropical plants that you will find in the greenhouse!