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.
Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm – last entry at 2:00 pm. Doors Close at 3:00PM.
Admission is free with a suggested donation
Pause to listen, and you might hear Evolutionary Sounds emerging in the Fern Room. Woodwind instruments, birdsong and field recordings gathered in the Prairie State of Illinois are manipulated to reveal a native soundscape somehow in harmony with the exotic flora inside the Lincoln Park Conservatory. Slowing down bird sounds to a more human friendly speed unveils a beauty and complexity achieved over millennia.
Opening Reception 1 – 3 PM, Sunday, January 15, 2023
Show runs through Sunday, April 9, 2023
Lincoln Park Conservatory Fern Room
For more information visit: https://ess.org/esscalendar/florasonicevolutionarysounds
In 1874, Lincoln Park hired its first gardener and built what would be the conservatory’s first greenhouse. Thirteen years later, in 1887, the Formal Garden was added along with four additional greenhouses that support the garden. After, the Eli Bates Fountain and the Von Schiller Monument were added with the garden.
The Lincoln Park Commission constructed the Lincoln Park Conservatory in phases between 1890 and 1895, replacing the small greenhouse from the 1870s. Nationally renowned architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee designed the Conservatory in collaboration with architect M.E. Bell. During the early nineteenth century developments in iron and glass building technology led to the construction of conservatories in cities throughout Europe and the United States.
Later in the century, as people were increasingly concerned about the ill effects of industrialization, they became fascinated with nature and interested in collecting and classifying plants. Large conservatories with display and exhibit rooms gained popularity, and Lincoln Park’s small greenhouse no longer seemed sufficient. Architects Silsbee and Bell were commissioned to design a much more substantial building. Rendered in the Victorian style, the new structure included palm, fernery, orchid, and show houses. A “paradise under glass,” the Conservatory supported “a luxuriant tropical growth, blending the whole into a natural grouping of Nature’s loveliest forms.”