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.