The University of Washington Bothell is preparing for a major new addition to its campus – The Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory. The stunning greenhouse and conservatory, which will contain a classroom, botanical laboratory and exhibit space, will be located at the north end of the campus wetlands and serve as a working educational center for UW Bothell.
Dr. Gordon Green, the project’s benefactor, wanted to give back to the community where his family took root. His vision was to create a conservatory and greenhouse that’s both accessible to the public and dedicated to the legacy of his pioneering Bothell family.
Dr. Green chose to have the conservatory named for his mother, Sarah Simonds Green. Both the Simonds and Green families played prominent roles in Bothell's history. In 1912, Sarah Simonds was a member of the first graduating class at Bothell High School. Her father, Henry Simonds, was the founder and first principal of the high school. Sarah was a talented pianist, active garden club member, and devoted to her family. She also attended classes at the University of Washington. In 1919, Charles Green, Dr. Green's father, founded Green's Garage (later called Green Motors), the first Ford automobile dealership in the Bothell area. It remained under family ownership until 1965. Four generations of the family have received high school diplomas in the Northshore School District, and three generations have earned UW degrees.
Dr. Green began his college career at the University of Washington, though he completed his bachelor’s degree at UCLA, and went on to earn a Master of Arts and a Ph.D. at the University of Southern California. Among his many accomplishments was dramatic training in New York directed by Erwin Piscator, where his classmates included Marlon Brando and Elaine Stritch. Later, Green became a valued member of a theater company in Houston, Texas. A talented but unpublished playwright, Green spent the bulk of his professional life as a college professor of English and drama.
“The community in and around our growing campus is deeply grateful for the Green family’s generosity,” says UW Bothell Chancellor Kenyon Chan. “Dr. Green’s desire to build an educational space says so much about his family’s dedication to the community from which it grew.”
The facility is currently under construction and is scheduled to open during the summer of 2013. The 1,700 square foot conservatory will be open to the public and also used for academic research and teaching. The space will include 1,500 square feet of greenhouse and 1,200 square feet of education and exhibit space for historical displays and interpretive materials. Along with a new sports field and on-campus housing, the Sarah Simonds Green Conservatory represents a significant addition to the campus’s growing palette of amenities.
Nash Conservatory at Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, 1836 (exterior design inspiration)