The Cleveland Botanical Garden was founded as the Garden Center of Greater Cleveland in 1930, and was originally located in a boathouse at Wade Park Lagoon. Various horticultural exhibits of plants from all over the world are provided in the gardens. This facility was the first civic garden center in the country.
The Garden Center had a history of raising money and awareness about the institution with white elephant sales boasted to be among the largest in the world. The Garden Center moved to the present location on East Boulevard in 1966 and changed their name to the Cleveland Botanical Garden in 1994. In 2003 the Eleanor Armstrong Smith Glasshouse was built and exhibits the flora of Madagascar's Spiny Desert and a simulated Costa Rican Cloud Forest.