In the 1930's Mr. Aubrey Green had a large orchard consisting of many acres which included the area where the Green Center is now. He built his home, which is now our headquarters, in 1932. Buildings from that era are very well constructed and have elegant details as does the Green Center headquarters. Mr. Green, his wife, and daughter lived in the home.
In the 1970's, the City of University City purchased a seven acre property, which included the house, from Mr. Green. The larger part of the seven acres was used for the development of Kaufman Park. The remaining acre and a half of land, including the house, was leased back from the city and used as a residence by Mr. Green until he passed away in 1995.
When the City of University City took possession of the house in 1995, a committee was formed to help the city determine the best use for the property. The committee consisted of current and former Park Commission members, former Mayor Kaufman, representatives from U City in Bloom, and other interested citizens. The committee held an open house in September, 1996. Over 400 residents were eager to see the house, which was rumored to be haunted. It was featured on television, and lots of ideas were presented to the committee. The committee grew to include local environmentalists, educators, representatives from the Arts & Letters Commission, and representatives from the U City Children's Center. This group talked about various options for the home, and in January, 1997 began creating a proposal to the city to use the area for a natural laboratory and cultural gathering place, and to include Ruth Park Woods and land bordering the golf course as part of the Green Center. In June of 1997 the proposal was presented to the City Council, which gave our group the go-ahead to try to make the Green Center a reality.
So began our journey...
We signed our first lease with University City in October of 1998. We have a lease for 25 years, with an option to renew for another 25.