Olbrich eyes $14.3 million overhaul

With the popularity of Olbrich Botanical Gardens on a steady uptick, a master plan is underway for the gardens aimed at improving buildings. But the price tag will be hefty, estimated at between $14.3 million and $17.5 million, as the facility looks to better accommodate visitors and its educational programs.

Among the proposed improvements, conceived through a series of public meetings last year, are suggestions for a new public entranceway with an atrium opening to a courtyard, a renovated lobby and expanded gift shop, and new space for plant shows in an educational wing with offices. Olbrich is also looking at remodeling the greenhouse, converting the existing atrium building into a library and orientation hall, and improving staff space.

No timeline has been set, and only preliminary presentations are being made. Olbrich is jointly run by the private Olbrich Botanical Society and the city of Madison Parks Division. Olbrich’s consultant is HGA Architects and Engineers of Milwaukee.