Designed by architect Robert Fitch Smith and completed circa 1934, the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse is experiencing the effects of over 70 years of use; exposure to south Florida moisture has affected the subflooring of the structure. Generous funding from The Villagers Incorporated will allow Montgomery Botanical Center (MBC) to begin restoring the Guesthouse, ensuring the long-term stability of this important part of the original Montgomery Estate.
Notable biologists visited the Montgomerys from as early as the 1930s. Liberty Hyde Bailey frequently stayed at the Guesthouse in the 1930s and 1940s. Richard Archbold visited in March of 1938, just weeks prior to his famous expedition to New Guinea. In 1980, Nell Montgomery Jennings expressed her desire that the Montgomery Estate be used “for visiting scientists, for educational or scientific purposes”. In the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse, MBC has hosted researchers from every continent representing internationally recognized institutions.
Dr. Arthur Montgomery, the youngest of Colonel Robert Montgomery’s sons, was one of the original 1959 incorporators of Montgomery Botanical Center. A noted mineralogist, he founded what is now the Montgomery Botanical Fellows Program, which is continued through the Kelly Foundation. The Guesthouse was formally named the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse in March 1992. Arthur died in December 1999; he was 90 years old.
Montgomery Botanical offers the Arthur Montgomery Guesthouse, without charge, to scientists, educators, students, and researchers so they can maximize their time with MBC’s scientific plant collections.
Dr . Patrick Griffith, MBC executive director, stated, “MBC gratefully acknowledges The Villagers for their generous funding. This historic structure has continuously supported the scientific community since its construction — this generous grant helps that tradition continue.”