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Foundation says millions raised to finish Volunteer Park Conservatory restoration

The Seattle Parks Foundation has announced it has reached its goal for a capital campaign to complete a multi-million dollar restoration of the more than 100-year-old Volunteer Park Conservatory.

CHS reported on the start of the Friends of the Conservatory campaign in spring 2011 as the landmark facility required a $3.5 million restoration of its East Wing and East Greenhouse.

“The Friends did an awesome job of creating a sense of urgency and got a lot of smaller gifts in the door early,” Seattle Parks Foundation executive director Thatcher Bailey tells CHS. “We went out to ask for the larger gifts  and every donor we talked to already knew the problem to be solved. Many Seattleites have a deep connection to the Conservatory, as it turns out.”

Bailey says that a roster of donors is not yet available.

Unfinished work on the Conservatory left the Seasonal House, the Cactus House and the working area in the East Greenhouse in need of significant restoration. The rest of the Conservatory was transitioned to aluminum framing in previous work but the wood in the remaining sections will need to be replaced.

We have questions out to the foundation about the community giving behind the $3.5 million in funding for the project. Construction on the project will begin this spring.

Earlier this year, CHS reported on the transition of the facility to a more self-sustaining model including a $4 admission fee for visitors.

The work on the Conservatory will begin just as another Volunteer Park project is wrapping up. A $600,000 overhaul of the park’s playground is slated to be completed in the next month.

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9 thoughts on “Foundation says millions raised to finish Volunteer Park Conservatory restoration

  1. This is great news. Having grown up nearby, I have been visiting for over 40 years.

    Now can we get the City to cap the reservoir? Removing the fence and creating green space would be wonderful.

  2. Cap the reservior? That’s a terrible idea. It’s the only major water feature in the park and is an integral part of the design. And there is a large “green space” immediately to the west of the reservior, not to mention the other large “green space” west of the Asian Art Museum. Leave the reservior alone — it’s beautiful the way it is.

  3. The conservatory is a beautiful structure. This is excellent news!

    I agree, we don’t need to lose the water reservoir as a water feature but it would be nice if they could install a lid and retain water above. It is a beautiful spot in the park and it’s a shame that, for security reasons, it has to be fenced off. If it were capped, perhaps another water feature could be installed.

    That being said, the last I’ve read on the reservoir is that it will most likely be decommissioned.

  4. Pingback: Fences coming down on Volunteer Park playground overhaul | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

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