In September 1911, Alfred D. Robinson, president of the San Diego Floral Society, conceived the idea of a giant lath palace in the center of an enormous botanic garden. It was to be similar to lath enclosures in Point Loma and Coronado, only bigger. It consisted of a narrow rectangle with dominant central dome and with two short barrel vaults on each side. Steel frames, bridging the vaults, held up stained and bent redwood lath. Palms, bamboo, banana trees, and aralia grew in the main building. Vitis, isolepsis, crotons, dracaenas, philodendrons, and anthuriums grew inside a glass wing in the back.