The Jewel Box is a display greenhouse in Forest Park, located at the intersection of Wells and McKinley Drives in St. Louis, MO.
The Jewel Box is open after a $3.5 million renovation and it "glows" again. The glass panes have been repaired and cleaned so the Jewel Box is once again the "jewel" of Forest Park. And the jewel is bright with hundreds of flowers. The permanent floral displays are supplemented with seasonal flowers from the city’s greenhouses grown and planted by the Flora Conservancy of Forest Park, the volunteer gardening group, and the Horticulture Section of the Parks Division.
The Jewel Box is open to the public on Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; on Saturday, from 9 to 11 a.m.; and on Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $1 per person, but it is free on Monday and Tuesday from 9 a.m. until noon.
The Jewel Box is located at the intersection of Wells and McKinley drives in Forest Park.
The main display area is 50 feet high, 55 feet wide and 144 feet long, containing about 7,500 square feet of floor space.
There are special floral shows at Christmas, early spring, Easter, Mother's Day, summer and fall. It has tropical trees, foliage plants, flowers, a new water feature and fountain year round.
For information about weddings, receptions, dinners or special events, call the Parks Division at 314-289-5389.
The Jewel Box phone number is 314-531-0080.
Jewel Box Renovation
The Jewel Box underwent a major renovation in 2002. This included removing all of the old plants and trees and reconfiguring the planting areas to the sides of the building, leaving the interior free. Gone are the trees that climbed to the top of the building, obscuring the light. Now the Jewel Box is flooded with sunlight that pours in through the top tiers of glass and illuminates the plants below.
The interior area includes a large fountain and water feature that can be removed for weddings and other events. Large pots line both sides of the pond and baskets of plants hang from the ceiling.
The renovation of the Jewel Box included replacing the mechanical systems, improving the floral display area and adding a catering area so the building can be rented for wedding receptions, corporate meetings and parties. There is a new heating and air conditioning system so it will be comfortable inside in the coldest and hottest weather.
Jewel Box History
The Jewel Box, located on a 17-acre site in Forest Park, was built by the City of St. Louis in 1936 and is operated by the Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. It is listed on the National Historic Register. The designation was given by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. The application was submitted by the Landmarks Association of St. Louis on behalf of the City of St. Louis Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry. The Jewel Box was given the designation on the National Register because it is, “locally significant in the area of architecture. The Art Deco building is an outstanding example of greenhouse design.”
The Jewel Box was dedicated Nov. 14, 1936 and cost about $117,000, with about 45 percent coming from Public Works Administration (WPA) funds. It was designed by city engineer William C. E. Becker and Robert Paulus Construction Co. was the contractor.
With its unconventional, cantilevered, vertical glass walls rising majestically 50 feet high, the Jewel Box opened in 1936 to national acclaim. The Post-Dispatch called the Art Deco-style structure, "the latest word in display greenhouses."
Today it is an aged St. Louis treasure that has been restored to its former glory.
Weddings at the Jewel Box
The Jewel Box in Forest Park is one of the most beautiful sites in St. Louis for wedding ceremonies. It also is one of the most popular.The Jewel Box has opened after a $3.5 million renovation, which makes it an even better site for weddings. The 11-month renovation included replacing the mechanical systems and adding air conditioning so it will be comfortable in the summer months.
A catering room, a large wedding party room, and new restrooms have been built so the building can be rented for wedding ceremonies, wedding receptions and other catered events.
The floral display area has been changed to include a large fountain and water feature that can be removed for weddings and receptions. The permanent floral displays will be supplemented with seasonal flowers from the city’s greenhouses, grown and planted by the Flora Conservancy of Forest Park.
The Jewel Box is available for wedding ceremonies in 1½ hour increments from:
SaturdayNoon to 1:30 p.m.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Regular booking must be made in person (at the Parks Dept. office) and the rental fee is due the same day as the reservation.
Discounted booking, less than one year from the date being requested, is $800.
Discounted bookings can be made over the telephone, however, you will need to come in to the Park Department office in Forest Park within five working days after the reservation is made to sign a contract and pay the rental fee.
Maximum capacity for the Jewel Box for a wedding ceremony is 250 people.
The rental fee includes up to 250 chairs, which will be setup by Jewel Box staff. This is the only equipment provided by the Jewel Box. Any other equipment needed such as microphones, extension cords, podiums, sound systems, music equipment, etc., should be rented from a private source.
All activity (decorating, pictures, ceremony, etc.) must take place within the contracted time slot. Guests and/or the bridal party will not be allowed to enter the Jewel Box before the contracted rental time begins. Keep this in mind when deciding times to put on your invitations.
Candles are allowed if the flames are enclosed in a glass rose bowl, hurricane lamp or the like.
The use of nails, screws, tape, tacks, etc. to fasten decorations or other materials to walls, doors or from the ceiling is strictly prohibited.
Storage of any equipment or other accessory items belonging to the users is not permitted. The Jewel Box is not responsible for any equipment or other items left behind.
Smoking is not permitted in any part of the Jewel Box at any time. Sand ash bins are placed outside the main entrance.
To check the availability or make a reservation for the Jewel Box:
Call 314 289-5389. The Jewel Box phone is 314 531-0080.
Availability cannot be checked online.
To make arrangements in person, come to the Parks Department:
5600 Clayton Avenue
In Forest Park
(Directions: Take I-64 (Highway 40) to the Hampton Avenue exit. Make a right turn into the park. Follow the road to the right until you get to a stop sign. Go straight and the Parks Department office is on the left.)
If you have made a reservation by telephone, an appointment to sign the contract and pay the rental fee is required to insure that someone is available to assist you.
When you call or come in to make your reservation, you will need to know the following information:
- Spouse 1 - name, address, home/work phone number, place of work
- Spouse 2 - name, address, home/work phone number, place of work
- Date and time of wedding
- Number in wedding party
- Number of guests and number of chairs