Leon C. Snyder Building

Snyder garden entrance
Photo by Don Olson

A stop in the Snyder Building is a visit through Arboretum history! Named after the Arboretum's first director, Leon C. Snyder, the building served as the original visitor center with the Tea Room used as the restaurant. The Snyder Building also contains the Andersen Horticultural Library and the Meyer-Deats Conservatory. Learn more about the features of the Snyder Building below. 

Parking & Access Directions 

  • After you gain entry past the Arboretum gatehouse, follow the drive to the right. 
  • Turn right at the first stop sign.
  • Park in one of the Oswald Visitor Center's parking lot bays. 
  • As you exit the main visitor parking lot on foot, the Snyder Building is the building to your left (just east of the larger Oswald Visitor Center). You will see a flagpole in front of the blue and gray building.

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Additional History & Building Details

The historic Leon C. Snyder Education and Research Building is named for the Arboretum's first director, and was designed by noted Minnesota architect Edwin Lundie. The Arboretum's original structure opened its doors in 1974. Its design echoes a European country manor, combining massive wood timbers and cathedral ceilings with earth-tone colors to create warm, intimate settings for meetings, seminars and receptions.

Nestled on the ground floor of the Snyder Building, the Andersen Horticultural Library features 20,000 volumes on horticulture, natural history and children's literature. The largest horticultural research library in the Upper Midwest, it also maintains one of the largest seed and nursery catalog collections in the country, with nearly 73,000 items dating from 1614 to the present.

Dedicated in 1980, the Meyers-Deats Conservatory in the Snyder Building is especially popular during the winter months, when visitors crave a "tropical" break. The small conservatory features permanent bromeliad, orchid and cactus collections, as well as ferns and other tropical and sub-tropical plants.

Building Map