April 7, 2022 – Ground was broken today for one of Lewis Contractors’ newest historic renovation and addition projects. The historic Cylburn Carriage House is once again coming to life—this time as the new Cylburn Arboretum Nature Education Center. Long known for its historic renovation/restoration work, Lewis is proud to have been selected for this timely and important enhancement to Baltimore City.

The arboretum began as the private estate of businessman Jesse Tyson, who started construction of Cylburn Mansion in 1863. The house, designed by Baltimore City Hall architect George Aloysius Frederick, was eventually completed in 1888 and remains intact, a stone structure built of gneiss from Tyson’s quarries at Bare Hills, with mansard roof, tower, and an Italianate cupola. It became the Cylburn Wildflower Preserve and Garden Center in 1954 and, in 1982, was renamed the Cylburn Arboretum. Prior to the commencement of this project, the estate’s long un-used carriage house had fallen into severe disrepair.

Through the efforts of Cylburn Arboretum Friends, the new state of the art exhibit and training center will allow Cylburn the opportunity to capitalize upon its historic success, become a premier regional arboretum and amplify its position as a public garden dedicated to Baltimore’s community wellness and the education of visitors of all ages.

Through this most recent collaboration between design firm Ziger Snead and Lewis Contractors, the historic two-story stone carriage house, originally constructed circa 1870, later rebuilt following a fire in 1912, will be stabilized and totally renovated and a new 4,300 square foot barn-like addition will be added adjacent to the historic structure.

Long desired by friends and visitors to Cylburn, the newly renovated Nature Education Center will totally reimagine the former Nature Museum and include educational spaces, offices, and outdoor amenities to enhance visitor experiences and increase community initiatives associated with both the natural and cultivated materials within the garden.