Garden Club of America Amphitheater

When Fairchild created an exhibit of tropical plants for the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, it was seen by garden club members nationwide. As a result, the Garden was presented with the Garden Club of America Founders Fund for 1940. Garden Club members met with Fairchild landscape architect, William Phillips, to decide on a project. He suggested an outdoor amphitheater to serve as a meeting place. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) began the excavation of Royal Palm Lake and built the rock retaining wall, which forms a boundary around the semicircular amphitheater. A speaker’s dais was built on a raised platform; a round pool was constructed in front of it. Phillips carefully planted the area south of it with a collection of tall palms. He considered the amphitheater to be an area of quiet, formal scenery — a contrast to other areas of the Garden.