Donation Kicks-Start Next Phase of Garden Construction for New Visitor Center
NAPLES, FL - Nov. 14, 2011 - Last Wednesday at Naples Botanical Garden, colorful millinery was not the only focus, as Hats in the Garden luncheon guests were the first to hear that Garden Board member Eleanor Chabraja and her husband Nick made a gift of five million dollars to the Garden. As long time friends of Harvey Kapnick, the Garden's visionary leader, the Chabraja gift will serve as the start for the next phase of construction at the Garden and the realization of Harvey's dream. Mr. Kapnick passed away in 2002 before the Garden went through its 170-acre expansion.
"Eleanor and I made this commitment to help complete Harvey's vision of building a world-class botanical garden in Naples, Florida," said Nick Chabraja. "We are really encouraged to see the Garden's spectacular beauty and the vitality of its programs."
Naples Botanical Garden will be naming its future visitor center, The Eleanor and Nicholas Chabraja Visitor Center. The center has been designed by architect Ted Flato of the award winning Lake/Flato Architects firm, a group also known for their leadership in sustainable design. The new facility will include a cafe, retail store, auditorium, several gardens, meeting spaces and a variety of visitor amenities. The design for the Chabraja Visitor Center reflects the architect's commitment, as well as the Garden's, to green design and should qualify for LEED Gold Certification when complete. Construction is likely to begin in 2013.
"Eleanor and Nick Chabraja were two of my parents' favorite people - Kathleen and I are deeply moved by their generous investment in the realization of my father's vision," said Scott Kapnick, Garden board member and donor.
The Chabraja's split their time between Lake Forest, Illinois and Naples, Florida.
About Naples Botanical Garden
Naples Botanical Garden is a 170-acre world-class garden paradise that features the plants and cultures of the tropics and subtropics between the latitudes of 26 degrees North and 26 degrees South including Brazil, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia and Florida. A hands-on interactive Children's Garden along with 90 acres of beautifully restored natural habitats, walking trails and a Butterfly Garden offer an educational entertainment and enjoyment for people of all ages. Founded in 1993, the Garden re-opened to the public in November 2009 after an extensive expansion. Regular hours of operation are 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. every day.