Tower Grove House

Built in 1849, Tower Grove House is Garden founder Henry Shaw's restored country residence. Today, staff and volunteers encourage visitors to take a step back in time to learn more about the people who made the Garden grow.

Shaw's Legacy

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.

A New Story: Renovation in Tower Grove House

Hours and Admission

As a result of the COVID-19 restrictions and to continue to protect the health and well-being of Garden visitors, volunteers, and staff, the Tower Grove House remains closed at this time. The Interpretation team looks forward to the time when they can welcome you back and continue sharing the roots of the Garden's history with you.

Normally, a visit to Tower Grove House is included with Garden admission. The historic home is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, April through December.