The Purdy Center Groundbreaking

Rendering of new Conservatory and Wetlands Garden at Brookgreen

MURRELLS INLET, S.C., Feb 5, 2024 – Brookgreen Gardens, a National Historic Landmark on the Lowcountry coast, has broken ground on its new Welcome Center and Conservatory Gardens, The Purdy Center. The Purdy Center is the capstone project within Brookgreen's broader initiative, the Campaign for the Next Generation, aimed at expanding its art, nature, and history programs for future generations. This initiative includes new and renovated facilities as well as supporting endowments.  


"As we break ground on The Purdy Center, Brookgreen Gardens welcomes a new era of education, cultural enrichment, and horticultural exploration," says Page Kiniry, president and CEO of Brookgreen Gardens. "This new Welcome Center and Conservatory will dramatically enhance the experiences and educational opportunities we provide to members."


Brookgreen is home to the largest and most significant collection of American figurative sculpture in the country. It is a leader in sculpture conservation, environmental conservation, and the protection of the plants, animals, and history of the South Carolina Lowcountry. The Campaign for the Next Generation, funded entirely by gifts and grants, will expand Brookgreen in four key areas – this new Contemporary Conservatory and Welcome Center, new art facilities, expanded Lowcountry history exhibits, and a new exhibit in the Lowcountry Zoo.


The Purdy Center, the largest of these capital projects, will serve as the Welcome Center for Brookgreen Gardens, provide additional event and educational program space, and include a new Contemporary Conservatory. The Purdy Center will transform the campus, welcoming guests from around the world and enabling Brookgreen to expand horticulture programs. Guests will enjoy an accessible, year-round garden to explore tropical biomes, including a butterfly garden to educate children and families. The Conservatory Great Hall will be the public centerpiece of the project and will feature skylights, clear story windows, and accordion doors opening onto an expansive courtyard. With ever-changing botanical displays, a floor-to-ceiling Green Wall showcasing tropical plants, and an array of hanging baskets and planters, this space will be a seamless extension of the Gardens. Outside, the Conservatory Veranda, an elevated terrace featuring a Kalwall shade in the shape of butterfly wings, pays tribute to Anna Hyatt Huntington's original design of the formal Gardens in the 1930s. Furthermore, a landscaped Courtyard will serve as a gathering space for Brookgreen's programs and tours, doubling as a private event space for special occasions.


The Center is named for Verl and Sandra Purdy of Charlotte, NC, and the Peninsula at Inlet Point South at Litchfield, SC, in honor of their leadership support of the Campaign and love of the Gardens as Honorary Trustees.


For more information on this new expansion and to donate to the Campaign for the Next Generation, please visit


Hours: 9:30 AM - 5:00 PM | Daily

For their safety and the safety of our animal collection, pets are not allowed, nor can they be left in vehicles inside Brookgreen. Service animals that have received special training to assist disabled persons are welcome.


Daily General Admission Tickets for 7 consecutive days

Children 3 and under: Free

Children 4-12: $12

Adults 13-64: $22

Seniors 65 & Over: $20


1931 Brookgreen Drive
Murrells Inlet, SC 29576

Off US Highway 17 Bypass, between Murrells Inlet and Pawleys Island on South Carolina's Hammock Coast