Botanical Garden was founded in 1930 as the Garden Center of
Greater Cleveland. The Garden Center began with an extensive
collection of garden books donated by Mrs. Andrew Squire.
Originally, housed in an abandoned boathouse on Wade Park
lagoon in front of the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Garden
Center’s purpose was to have a space to hold a collection of
books where "anyone may come to receive information on
horticulture and gardening."
In 1966, the Garden Center
moved to its present location on East Boulevard, the site of
the old Cleveland Zoo. Remnants of the old bear pit still
remain and have been transformed into beautifully landscaped
flower show gardens and a woodland garden.