The idea of the Gardens first began in 1868 when the Buffalo Parks Commission started meeting with landscape architect
Fredrick Law Olmsted, Sr., and Partners. In the late 1880s, they asked Olmsted to design a new park for South Buffalo;
the eventual design included two new parks: Cazenovia Park and South Park, which was created in 1894-1900 from 156 acres (63 ha) of farm land.
South Park eventually became today's botanical gardens. In Olmsted's design, its conservatory would showcase tropical plant species, while the
rest of the park was designed to feature hardy species including an arboretum, pinetum, shrub garden, and a bog garden. Formal gardens around
the conservatory led visitors into informal park along walking paths. South Park also was to include a large pond for boating, a ring road for
horse carriages, and a meadow. However, the proposed walking pa...