Happy 208th B-day, Henry Shaw (Jul. 24)

July 23, 2008

One of St. Louis’ most noted philanthropists, Henry Shaw, was born 208 years ago tomorrow.  You’ve probably heard of him — even 208 years later, he still has a way with PR — either for founding the Missouri Botanical Garden or for Tower Grove Park, two of the city’s gems.  (You probably haven’t heard of his retribution toward a runaway slave, but that’s a story I’ve already touched on here.)  To commemorate an imperfect life where the balance tilts toward the public good, the botanical garden is offering free admission all day tomorrow.  From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. there will be old-fashioned games and refreshments (while supplies last). Visitors can also tour Shaw’s residence, Tower Grove House.  Cyclists are welcome to participate in the Petal Pedal, a 5-mile ride through the garden.  Registration for that is from 10 to 11 a.m. in the garden’s east parking lot.

Just FYI, this will be a peak day and the main lots will fill quickly.  While some spaces are  always reserved for cars ferrying handicapped or elderly visitors, most likely you’ll have to park at one of the off-site lots to the west and either walk or hop a shuttle to the main entrance.

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