90 Years Connecting Plants, People, and Place • 1933 – 2023
On June 4, 1933, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, formerly the private estate known as Compton, opened to the public and marked its official transition to public garden.
We are celebrating this historic milestone by unveiling a new name, a refreshed brand, and a renewed emphasis on colorful plantings. Our commitment to bringing more color and beauty to our gardens will be on vibrant display this spring and summer as we reopen our popular Rose Garden as well as reveal Exuberant Blooms, a new pop-up garden of bold, flowering annuals.
Throughout the year, check out our events and programs being held in celebration of our anniversary, including themed garden tours, fun kids’ activities, and a reduced-price community weekend. We’ll also be sharing bits of our history every week on social media—follow #90yearsofMorris to get a glimpse into our past with historic photos, documents, blog posts, and more.
We hope to see you at the Morris soon!
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“As we stand on the cusp of our second century, our role as a research institution and a place for joy and healing has never been more critical. Lydia Morris gifted the Arboretum to the University of Pennsylvania so it could become a place for botanical research, horticultural education and public engagement. With the expansion of our research program, educational opportunities for children, students and adults, and a focus on beauty and color in horticultural design, I believe we are celebrating Lydia’s gift in all we do.”
- F. Otto Haas Executive Director Bill Cullina
Learn about the history of the Morris.
The Morris Archives was established in 1987 to acquire, conserve, and catalog one-of-a-kind historic documents.
An oral history project capturing the Morris throughout the years.
"The Origins of Morris Arboretum & The Mansion From Which It Bloomed"
Written by Joyce Munro for Hidden City.
Morris Arboretum: From Birth to Dedication
Joyce H. Munro, a Morris volunteer and former Dean of Graduate Studies at Chestnut Hill College, writes of events leading up to the public opening of the Morris Arboretum in June 1933.