Yes, Penn State provides public access to buildings, monuments and natural heritage landscapes of cultural significance. It is the policy of the University to preserve an open access environment and all significant buildings are open to the public from 8 am to 5 pm.

The Old Botany building, pictured above, built in 1887 is the oldest building on campus whose exterior has not been altered over the years. It was designed by College Architect F. L. Olds in the “Richardsonian Romanesque” style he also used in Old Engineering and the Armory. The most notable features are the large semicircular window on the east facade, eyelid dormers and terra cotta ornamentation on the ridge of the roof. The building first housed botany laboratories and had greenhouses attached and a formal garden in front, laid out by students in 1861. The interior is considerably altered and today is used for administrative offices.

  • Penn State landmarks that the public can access include the original Old Main building, front campus landscape, and the former Carnegie library building. More information about publicly accessible Penn State Landmarks can be found on this library Penn State Landmarks webpage.
  • The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens and all other parts of the Arboretum are open to the public without charge. The Arboretum is a University facility for study, research, reflection, and enjoyment.
  • Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center provides free public access to an aviary, herpetarium, indoor bird-watching station, ponds, pollinator gardens, interpretive environmental learning, trails for hiking, spots for picnicking, and more.