Who Knew? Climatron Was Constructed Around MOBot's Existing Palm Trees

Categories: History
climatron 2.jpg
Framework for the Climatron rises around the garden's existing palm trees in 1959.
Each week publishers bombard Riverfront Times with dozens of books that we will never read. Once in a great while, though, one of those unsolicited tomes will sit on a desk long enough for someone to actually pick it up. Such was the case last week when we received (and actually flipped through!) a copy of Missouri Botanical Garden.

There, by golly, on page 100 was something we never knew. MOBot's famed Climatron was built around existing palm trees! Unfortunately, the story does not have a happy ending. Not for the trees anyway.

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The front entrance pillars of the old Palm House, which are visible here, were also preserved for a time in the the Climatron. The Climatron is a geodesic dome, a design invented by Buckminster Fuller. Architects  Murphy and Mackey were the architects on record and Thomas C. Howard of  Synergetics Inc. designed the dome. 


If you are a longtime resident of St. Louis, you would have been aware the Climatron was built around the trees...everyone knew that at one time, but enough time has passed  that people forget..but not Kitty.


The Climatron was designed by architect Thomas C. Howard of Synergetics, Inc. geodesic dome expert.  Architect Eugene Mackey did not design the dome, only the lower ground level. 

The Climatron was the first geodesic greenhouse and the first use of plexiglass in a greenhouse.

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