Finishing touches commence on new Overland Park Arboretum visitor center. See its progress

Overland Park LongHouse Visitor Center in the Arboretum. Fiorella's Jack Stack will operate Cafe Celeste in the LongHouse.

The Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden's new visitor center is readying to open up for guests this fall. Above, the new visitor center at 179th Street and Antioch Road. Photo credit Lucie Krisman.

The two-year construction process for the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Garden’s new visitor center is coming to a close.

Construction on the “LongHouse” visitor center at 179th Street and Antioch Road will wrap up soon, with the facility officially opening up for guests this fall.

LongHouse Visitor Center
Above, an aerial view of the LongHouse Visitor Center. Image via Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens’ Instagram page.

Construction began two years ago

  • Plans for the new visitor center go back to 2006, when the Overland Park City Council approved the idea as part of the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens Master Plan.
  • The $23 million project received funding from Overland Park’s Capital Improvement Plan and from the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park.
  • In 2022, the price tag went up by $320,000 due to inflation-related rises in construction costs.

The center features a range of amenities

  • The 21,000-square-foot space will be offered for community events, including weddings and meetings.
  • Its indoor features include exhibits, rental rooms, a café and a gift shop.
  • Outside the center, visitors can also view fountains, a reflecting pool and entry gardens.

The center will also feature a new art piece

  • LongHouse’s north lawn will also become home to a a 30-foot sculpture called “Growing Kindness.”
  • The stainless steel sculpture, armed with steel poppies, will serve as a tribute to local artist Jeff Hanson, who died of a brain tumor three years ago.
  • The Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park is currently working to raise money for the sculpture’s creation and installation, which will cost $3 million in total.

Go deeper: Overland Park sculpture will honor late artist’s legacy of ‘growing kindness’