HistoryThe Morton Arboretum's Branching Out! campaign of the early 2000s enabled the development of several Arboretum landmarks including the installation of Arbor Court. This gathering area, featuring a crushed stone terrace, seasonal plantings, and naturalistic design elements, is located on the south side of the Visitor Center. The landscaped plaza is a place for visitors to rest or orient themselves before venturing into the Arboretum. Since its opening in the summer of 2004, Arbor Court has served as a venue for festivals and private events.
Among the plaza's shade trees, shrubs, and grasses are the eight acorn finials created in the 1960s for the Arboretum's former entrance gates. These historic sculptures were commissioned by Suzette Morton Davidson, Joy Morton's granddaughter and chairman of The Morton Arboretum, and sculpted by Sylvia Shaw Judson. They now sit atop Arbor Court's fieldstone seat walls for visitors to enjoy.