Press "Enter" to skip to content

This university has created a garden rooftop to encourage agricultural education

© Auburn University

The Tony and Libba Rane Culinary Science Center’s rooftop garden offers more than just food and decorations to patrons of its namesake restaurant, 1856 – Culinary Residence, as well as The Laurel Hotel & Spa and Ariccia Cucina Italiana.

In actuality, the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management at the College of Human Sciences and the Department of Horticulture at the College of Agriculture, along with Ithaka Hospitality Partners, collaborate in the 4,400-square-foot garden on the Walt and Ginger Woltosz Rooftop Terrace, which was named through a kind gift from the couple.

Hubbard, Martin O’Neill, the dean of the Horst Schulze School of Hospitality Management, and Hans van der Reijden, the founder and CEO of Ithaka Hospitality Partners, the hospitality management company in charge of The Hotel at Auburn University, Dixon Conference Center, and the Tony and Libba Rane Culi Center, were all invited to a meeting with Hubbard about a year ago. This meeting marked the beginning of the initial collaboration between human sciences and agriculture.

The rooftop garden redefines “locally sourced,” according to van der Reijden, founder and CEO of Ithaka Hospitality Partners, who considered it an asset. In response to the growing popularity of “farm-to-table” or “farm-to-fork” concepts around the nation, Auburn has developed “rooftop-to-fork,” and “it’s only an elevator trip away.”

For the visitors of 1856 – Culinary Residence, it is genuinely extraordinary to be able to practically pick food at its peak of freshness and then descend 120 feet on an elevator. There are 46 seats in the restaurant, 12 in the private dining room, and 6 at the bar in the teaching facility.