The Botanical Building in Balboa Park with the welcome gallery in the center. Courtesy Balboa Park Online Collaborative

A $258,000 federal grant under the Save America’s Treasures program will help restore the welcome gallery of Balboa Park’s iconic Botanical Building.

The grant and matching donations will be administered by the Balboa Park Conservancy in partnership with the city to transform the gallery into an educational resource for visitors.

“This news comes at a pivotal moment for one of San Diego’s most iconic and historic landmarks,” said Tomás Herrera-Mishler, CEO of the conservancy. “An investment in this beloved resource helps convey the importance of parks and a sense of place in our community.”

“This matching grant not only recognizes the value of local philanthropy, but it inspires others to become part of this revitalization story,” he added.

The conservancy was one of 41 recipients nationwide selected for a share of $12.6 million in Save America’s Treasures preservation grants by the National Park Service this year.

Earlier this year, the state granted $6.2 million to address rust, termite damage and “years of deferred maintenance” at the 1915-vintage building built for the Panama-California Exposition.

The goal of the restoration is to revive the Botanical Building and Gardens as the heart of horticulture in San Diego and a global botanical destination.

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Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.