Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Observation Pier Beginnings

Our weekly historical RBG installment shows the progress of the observation pier overlooking our three acre pond.  The photo above is recent and note the nice view of the pond, arched bridge and surrounding landscape.  The observation pier I believe was built and finished in 1992 although I'm not 100% sure on that account.  Meant to bring visitors closer to the water and to provide a wonderful view, this structure was also built to accommodate all accessible fishing opportunities.  It was originally called "The Fishing Pier." Fishing is still allowed at RBG and while we are the only botanical garden I know of that allows fishing, this pier is enjoyed and utilized by most of our guests for one reason or another.  During our Holiday Lights Show, the view from this structure is amazing.  We repaint this every couple of years and the Japanese style structure was re-roofed two years ago.  Note the polished granite lions to the left and right of the entrance way.  In regards to those lions, a Chinese guest last year explained that one is a boy and one is a girl.  The boy has a paw resting on a ball while the girl has a small cub under her paw.  That was neat to learn! These were vandalized during the 2006 incident which saw significant damage around the entire gardens.  Thankfully they were too heavy to steal, break or throw in the water (just tipped over)!  Note the progress of this structure further below with captions.

It was a crazy day.  I was wrapped up in meetings and other tasks and didn't even get in to the gardens proper.  Thankfully, the entire grounds staff of Big John, Pat, Terry, Jenny, Janice, Cheryl, Larry and Cindy were in attendance and were able to work on various tasks, many related to dismantling the Spring Plant Sale and Tree Sale.  There was also weeding, mowing and other duties.  Volunteers included Tina, Mary W., Stan, Maury and many others.  Our Garden Development & Maintenance Committee met and members in attendance included Big John, Dick P., Christine, Christy, Iza and Larry H.  There were other volunteers around today but I just didn't cross paths with them on this soggy, overcast and cool day.  We made three trips to K&W Greenery to pick up our massive plant order and still have a couple trips to go.  Lots going on today and we'll be back at it tomorrow!

the support posts are driven in (above and below)

Dave Knoerr, retired civil engineer, surveys the site
Mrs. Knoerr helps with the transit stick
support beams are installed
the decking and structure supports are secured as the sloped pathway to this structure is defined by boulders (both above and below)

the Japanese style structure is built (above and below)

the polished granite lions were added in 2001 with benches
a classic spring shot of this iconic structure

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