A Building for North Carolina
Dedicated on October 12, 2009, the James & Delight Allen Education Center expresses a sense of place and celebrates relationships between humans and nature through the integration of indoor and outdoor spaces. Open breezeways, comfortable porches, natural light in every room, beautiful native plant landscaping, and educational exhibits inform, delight, and invite visitors to our Conservation Garden. Most of all, our building is a center for learning about science and the enjoyment of plants and nature.
The Allen Education Center is the first building on a UNC campus, the first state-owned building in North Carolina, and the state’s first public museum and outreach center to earn LEED* platinum status, the highest level of green building design!
The Allen Education Center houses the Joslin Classrooms, Reeves Auditorium, and the C. Ritchie Bell Seminar Room for lectures, classes, meetings, and other public programs; the Eleanor Pegg Smith Exhibit Hall for educational exhibits, the DeBerry Art Gallery for botanical art and illustration; the Sarah Fore Gaines Library which includes the Addie Totten collection and the Green Gardener Desk; and the Burke & Judy Davis Garden Shop with books, clothes, stationery, fine art prints, a daily plant sale area, and more. Offices for the Garden’s administrative, development, and education staff are on the second floor of the Allen Education Center.
The receptionist inside the Allen Education Center provides visitors with information about the Garden, including how to become a member. Free informational brochures are available here.
This wonderful facility is where the people of North Carolina and visitors from farther afield can listen to lectures, take workshops and classes, obtain information on sustainable gardening practices, and be introduced to the gardens and natural areas that make up the North Carolina Botanical Garden.
*LEED = Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System: a third-party certification program and the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high-performance green buildings.
At the Allen Education Center, you will find accessible restrooms and water fountains inside the exhibit hall as well as outside next to the Children’s Wonder Garden. The Allen Education Center is wheelchair accessible, though parts of the Display Gardens require the assistance of another person. We have a wheelchair on site for our visitors; please call ahead or inquire at the Allen Education Center reception desk if you would like to use it during your visit. And please call ahead if you have other special needs.