The renovation of Myriad Botanical Gardens is a key component in Oklahoma City’s commitment to public accessibility in the downtown core. Long envisioned as the cultural center of downtown, the gardens slowly grew by accretion, with the signature Crystal Bridge Conservatory opening in 1985. This piecemeal growth led to issues with safety, flooding and access.
By creating porous access along the street edges and an intensive water control framework, the gardens have been reimagined. Over 300 high-value specimen trees were preserved, and a renovated central lake controls stormwater and supplements irrigation. Permeable and inviting along its edges, the garden draws visitors onto a tree-lined promenade that loops through botanical plantings around the lake’s upper rim. Quiet, shaded berms to the northwest overlook the 28,000 SF Great Lawn and a sculptural bandshell. To the west, a grove of sycamores trees buffers the street while providing flexible garden space. To the south, an interactive water feature marks the entry to a children’s garden that balances active play with natural learning. A dog park, a fountain plaza, and a restaurant with outdoor dining enliven the eastern portion of the site.