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Volunteer Park Conservatory — 103 years old and counting — reopens after ‘historically accurate’ overhaul

(Images: CHS)

(Images: CHS)

IMG_3581Capitol Hill’s Volunteer Park Conservatory reopens to the public this weekend after a three-month layoff to complete work on a $3.5 million “historically accurate” restoration of its east wing. What’s a few months after serving as the Hill’s Crystal Palace for 103 years!

Powered by a fundraising effort by the Friends of the Conservatory group, the restoration of the the glass, wood, and aluminum seasonal house and the cactus house was vital for the 1912-built conservatory’s long term health and finished a project started in 1993 to transition the building’s slender frames from wood to aluminum. The Friends — many well-heeled, others just wearing fancy shoes — were on hand Saturday night for a ribbon cutting to reopen the wing with a fancy holiday gala party.

The conservatory was planned to reopen to the public on Sunday.

City Council Tom Rasmussen at Saturday night's ceremony (Image: CHS)

City Council Tom Rasmussen at Saturday night’s ceremony (Image: CHS)

Thursday night, December 11th, the Conservatory’s lights will be part of the 2014 edition of A Holiday in Volunteer Park along with choral groups and “paths lit by hundreds of luminarias.”

In the meantime, the Volunteer Park Trust, the community group dedicated to supporting the park as a whole, has embarked on the first step in a project to create a new bandshell to replace the park’s crumbling amphitheater structure.

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is located in the northwest corner of the park at 1400 E Galer. You can learn more about hours and more at

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3 thoughts on “Volunteer Park Conservatory — 103 years old and counting — reopens after ‘historically accurate’ overhaul

  1. This is something to celebrate. Volunteer Park is my backyard, as it is for many local apartment dwellers so I am happy to see this project finished!