Botanical Building at Balboa Park

Botanical Garden The Botanical Building at Balboa Park is one of the largest wood lath structures in the world.

It is 60 feet tall, 250 feet long, and 75 feet wide with thin strips of redwood draped over a steel frame. This distinctive building was designed by Carleston M Winslow, Frank P Allen, and Thomas B Hunter in preparation for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition.

In front, the Lily Pond, or Reflective Pond, provides a sense of peace and tranquility.

Botanical Garden
It is approximately 40 feet x 200 feet in size and houses lotus plants, water lilies, and fish. At times, the pond may be cordoned off so the surrounding grass may regenerate. But most of the time, visitors may walk right up to the edge of the water and look for fish. More photo.

Along the crosswalk, flanking the entire building, are two more companion water fountains.

Botanical Garden Inside the building, you will find over 2100 tropical plants as well seasonal exhibits such as the Easter Lily Display, Orchid Display, and Poinsettia Display.

On hot days, the this building is a nice place to go to hide from the heat. The lath structure overhead provides a patchy sunlight-and-shadow effect. If you look carefully, you will find small waterfalls hidden among the lush growth. More photo

Keep an eye out for the carnivorous plant collection (Venus Flytrap, Pitcher plants) and the Touch and Smell collection of herbs.

Botanical Garden

Botanical Garden Today, the Botanical Building and Lily Pond is one of the most photographed scenes in Balboa Park.

Botanical Garden Location, Price, Hours

Botanical Building in Balboa Park
map location 17

Open Friday through Wednesday
from 10 am to 4 pm
Closed Thursdays and holidays. Free.