Posted by Heidi Schwartz
Ah, never was “communing with nature” so agreeable–particularly when nature calls.
As the most visited public garden in America, Longwood Gardens is renowned for its grand horticulture displays. Now, even the distinctive restrooms have become a national icon too.
America voted and decided that Longwood Gardens has the best public restroom in all the land. After viewing its awe-inspiring “green wall” and eco-friendly design, the online public selected the venue’s restroom over a strong field of finalists in the 13th annual contest sponsored by Cincinnati, OH-based Cintas Corporation. As the 2014 winner, Longwood Gardens receives a $2,500 credit to spend on Cintas services like restroom cleaning and supplies, cleaning chemicals, or wet mops for their restroom floors.
“We’re excited to announce Longwood Gardens as the 2014 Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom,” said Cintas’ Senior Marketing Manager John Engel. “The team at Longwood has proven it understands the value of a restroom that’s creative and memorable for guests.”
In the contest, which attracted thousands of online votes, America chose Bowl Plaza in Lucas, KS as the No. 2 place “to go.” The Fabulous Fox Theater in St. Louis, MO took third place. All three top vote getters win a complimentary Deep Clean of their restroom (valued up to $500).
“We are so pleased to receive the America’s Best Restroom award,” said Conley. “Longwood Gardens is about beautiful horticulture, being a good steward to our environment, and providing an extraordinary experience for our more than one million guests each year.”
As for the restroom’s famous green wall? “The wall has become a ‘must-see’ destination for our guests, many of whom may have never seen a green wall before and are curious about how we care for it,” said Conley. “It’s the only restroom with its own docents!”
Along with the “green wall” outside the restrooms, visitors find etched translucent glass inside that provides natural light, reduces electricity and minimizes the need for light fixtures.
The 2014 contest attracted nominations from a wide range of businesses, including restaurants, a retail complex, an outdoor restroom along a running trail, and a children’s toy store. Cintas selected the 10 finalists based on cleanliness, visual appeal, innovation, functionality, and unique design elements.
2014 America’s Best Restroom Contest Finalists
- American Girl Place – Chicago, IL
- Bowl Plaza – Lucas, KS
- El Centro – Washington, DC
- The Fabulous Fox Theater – St. Louis, MO
- The Grove – Los Angeles, CA
- Longwood Gardens – Philadelphia, PA
- Mai Kai Restaurant – Ft. Lauderdale, FL
- Plums Café – Costa Mesa, CA
- Tiki Lounge – Pittsburgh, PA
- Trail Restroom – Austin, TX
Longwood has now secured its place in the Cintas’ America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame. To view photos of previous winners, visit the America’s Best Restroom Hall of Fame on the contest website at www.bestrestroom.com.
Cintas launched the America’s Best Restroom Contest in 2002 to honor businesses across the country that consider hygiene and style top priorities.
“This project is a lot of fun and also conveys a critical message that restroom hygiene matters for good health and good business,” said Engel. “We look forward to celebrating our 14th year in 2015 and invite the public to nominate their favorite facility online now.”