The 9,000 square foot Tower Grove House is located in the Garden’s Victorian District. This Italianate structure was designed by George I. Barnett in 1849 and served as Henry Shaw’s personal home until his death in 1889. This would have been the place the Garden was planned from, as Shaw meticulously chose details of his estate.
In the years after Henry Shaw’s death, Dr. William Trelease, the Garden’s first appointed director and his wife Julia called Tower Grove House home. Raising 4 boys in the house, this family home would have continued to be the hub at the center of the Garden. Dr. Trelease would have expanded the scientific arm of the Garden dramatically, organizing the Herbarium and exploring locations around the world to collect plant samples. After the Trelease’s departure in 1912, the home would serve as a classroom for the Shaw’s School of Gardeners and served as administrative offices. In 1953, it opened as a historic house museum, beginning its legacy of sharing the Garden’s history and offering a glimpse back in time.