Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Garfield Park Conservatory Severely Damaged by Hail

I was incredibly saddened to learn that the beautiful Garfield Park Conservatory was hit by a devastating hailstorm last week. Among the most severely damaged areas was the exquisite Fern Room that I featured earlier. The story can be read here at the Chicago Tribune site.

I still have dozens of photographs from my visit there in May that I want to share. The pictures in this post, with a couple of exceptions, are from the Palm House and Aroid House, which due to previous renovations, were among the least damaged areas.

Entrance to the Palm House, with the Fern Room (triangular roof) in the distance

Strelitizia, Bromeliads, and Crinum jagua (aka Spider Lilies) overlook the reflection pond near the entrance. This is the square pond seen in the picture above.

The Palm House landscape includes tropical and subtropical foliage in contrasting shades, as well as blooming plants.

Another view, emphasizing the height of this part of the Conservatory

Three views of the giant Scheelea Palm, from the top down, and the sign detailing its history

Lipstick Palm, Cyrtostachys renda, surrounded by a Fittonia groundcover

The highlight of the Aroid House is the koi pond, which includes glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly

Philodendron 'Xanadu,' which can be a problematic houseplant, thrives in conservatory conditions in the Aroid House.

This large Monstera deliciosa was located not in the Aroid House, but in the Fern Room.

Time will tell what will become of the beautiful Fern Room, and the plants it contains. I am so happy that I got to see the Conservatory again after all those years, and so disheartened at what has happened. I hope that it can be restored to enchant visitors with its beauty and history. According a follow-up story at the Tribune, some areas have already been reopened to the public.


Aaerelon said...

That place is beautiful. The Monstera delicosa really is something else! Hopefully the ferns weren't too badly damaged.

Aaerelon said...
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conservatory builder said...

I really, like greenhouses, awnings and solarium. All these look, very nice. I also, like this conservatory. Thanks, for the posting.