Conservatory & Gardens

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A Victorian Glass House

Visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory and step into beauty and tranquility. Feel the clean, oxygen-rich air. Smell the fragrant tropical flowers. See ancient ferns and towering palms. Experience the charm of a Victorian Era glass house. Built between 1890 and 1895, the historic Lincoln Park Conservatory displays lush, exotic plants from around the world in four display houses – The Palm House, Orchid House, Fern Room, and Show House. Venture outside to visit the Formal Garden, Bates Fountain, the Von Schiller Monument, the Old English-style Grandmother’s Garden, and the Shakespeare Monument.

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Yesterday’s Charm, Today’s Technologies

Our current project is a plan to restore the centerpiece of Lincoln Park – the Conservatory and its outdoor gardens. This comprehensive plan will restore a rusty, leaking conservatory building to its original late-1800s glory while adding green technologies, an additional display house, and new space for educational programs and events – all within the site’s existing footprint and while retaining its existing charm.

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Man masters nature not by force but by understanding.

– Jacob Bronowsky, Author (1908-1974)

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The History

In 1874, Lincoln Park hired its first gardener and built what would be the conservatory’s first greenhouse. In 1887, the Formal Garden was added along with four additional greenhouses to support the garden, as well as the Eli Bates Fountain and the Von Schiller Monument. In 1889 the park commissioned renowned Victorian architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee and local architect M.E. Bell to design the conservatory building.

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