Stephen and Peter Sachs Museum

The scientific heart of the Garden for more than a century before closing to the public in 1982, Henry Shaw's original museum has reopened following a painstaking restoration and offers a unique opportunity to view rarely seen art, artifacts, and more collected over the last 160 years. 


Shaw's Legacy

The 7000-square-foot Museum is located in the Garden's Victorian District. The Georgian structure was built at Shaw’s direction according to plans by prominent St. Louis architect George I. Barnett, for the purpose of housing the Garden’s original library, herbarium and natural history specimens.  

In the years after Henry Shaw's death on August 25, 1889, the original library and museum served a number of functions. Most uniquely, immediately following Shaw’s death, the Museum was the venue where his body lay in state for public viewing. In subsequent years, it has also served as a research lab and a time-lapse photography lab. It has housed offices, a restaurant, board and staff meeting rooms and computer class rooms, and it served as the Garden’s main auditorium until the construction of the Lehmann Building in 1972.  

Current Exhibitions

Some of Our Favorite Things
Explore the diverse ways that people use plants through a selection of artifacts from the Garden's growing biocultural collections.

Preserving the Past for the Future

Support the ongoing maintenance of the Sachs Museum.  

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Reopening the Museum

To open this treasure for modern audiences, the Garden: 

  • Created an exhibit venue showcasing artifacts on ethnobotany, endangered plants and Garden history
  • Constructed an addition on the building's east side with a fully accessible entrance, an elevator and updated and expanded restrooms
  • Built accessible pathways and enhanced gardens on the building's perimeter
  • Restored the lower level's historic architectural features tocreate a new exhibit space
  • Conserved the ceiling mural
  • Restored the stairwell, floors and cabinets
  • Upgraded electrical, fire protection and heating and cooling systems
  • Protected the building through tuck-pointing, drainage improvements, waterproofing and window repairs