A multi-million dollar restoration of the more than 100-year-old Volunteer Park Conservatory is slated to get underway at the end of the month. Capitol Hill fans of the seasonal house and the cactus house are advised to head to the park soon — the east wing work on the conservatory is scheduled to close that part of the facility starting April 28th through the end of November.
The entire glass, aluminum and wood structure will be shut down for work to upgrade the popular attraction for wheelchair and disabled access from October through November, Seattle Parks has announced.
While work has begun to create a tax district to support Seattle parks, the $3.5 million for the conservatory projects was raised over the course of a three-year capital campaign mounted by the Friends of the Conservatory community group.
The work is vital for the 1912-built conservatory’s long term health and finishes a project started way back in 1993 to transition the building’s slender frames from wood to aluminum.
In 2013, the conservatory began charging admission in its transition to a more self-sufficient model under an increasingly restricted Seattle Parks budget.
The $3.5 million for the project raised by the Friends group came from community donations large and small.
“We went out to ask for the larger gifts and every donor we talked to already knew the problem to be solved,” a spokesperson told CHS last year. “Many Seattleites have a deep connection to the Conservatory, as it turns out.”
The Conservatory will celebrate its reopening with a “gala reopening event” on December 4th. You can visit volunteerparkconservatory.org for updates.