The New York Botanical Garden was conceived of by Nathaniel Lord Britton, when he visited the Royal Botanical Gardens in England. Britton wanted to create a garden in New York City that could have a similar prominence. On April 18, 1891, the New York State Legislature provided a parcel of land in the Bronx to create the garden, and Britton became the first director.
Today the garden includes some of the only remnants of the natural landscape that existed prior to its becoming a park. The park also contains historic buildings that embody the 19th century architectural style of the time. More recently, the NY Botanical Garden has implemented a number of plans to help ensure preservation and at the same time allow for continued growth that will sustainably meet the needs of the future. A major component of the newest plan is the Landscape Master Plan by Olin Partnership. This plan emphasizes the restoration of the 'Heart of The Garden', which covers 85 acres and contains natural elements, designed gardens, educational programs, and several other components.