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Chance Gardens, a horticultural attraction built in 1936 by Albert Bishop Chance, is an expression of his gratitude to the community for its support of the Chance Co. through the years. In 1927, Mr. and Mrs. Chance took a world tour. He was so inspired by the gardens he saw that upon his return he built one of his own. The Garden was designed by Maude Dawson Taylor, landscape architect of Kansas City.
The oriental influence may be sensed in the artful harmony of wood, water, rocks, trees, shrubs and flowers as well as the design entrances and garden pergola. Key features include a massive stone arch and wishing well. Across a low pine topped berm, a brook cascades known a miniature mountainside, joining a small spring fed stream, then meandering through a rock-strewn valley. More than 300 tons of Missouri stone were used in the initial construction.
The Gardens were renovated in the 1970s. A 1995 addition, the Rose Garden, sits adjacent to the Museum. Its design compliments the architecture of the 1904 Queen Anne Victorian style house. From May to November the Rose Garden is ablaze with the blooms of 400+ different varieties of Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses.