The Thai Pavilion, located within a tropical garden setting that uses Wisconsin plants, is one of the most beautiful and noteworthy areas within Olbrich Botanical Gardens. The pavilion was a gift to the University of Wisconsin-Madison from the Thai Government and the Thai Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association because our university has one of the largest Thai student populations of any American college or university.
Olbrich's "sala" is one of four outside Thailand and the only one in North America. This stunning building was created in Thailand, taken apart and then shipped by sea, rail and truck to Madison. The Thai craftsmen who built it arrived in Chicago on Sept. 11, 2001, on one of the last flights to land that day. To mark that difficult moment, Olbrich made it possible for visitors to write peace messages on the back side of the pavilion's roof tiles which were then later installed by those Thai artisans. Olbrich's Thai Garden — a symbol of peace and friendship — would be a fitting place to spend part of the day on this tenth anniversary of Sept. 11.
Information for this post came from Olbrich's Fall 2011 newsletter and the Website. You can find more details on the Thai Pavilion and Garden here.