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Garfield Park Conservatory

Posted by
Steven (Chicagoland, United States) on 4 June 2012 in Architecture and Portfolio.

Constructed between 1906 and 1907, the Garfield Park Conservatory was designed by Chicago's general superintendent and chief landscape architect, Jens Jensen in collaboration with Prairie School architects Schmidt, Garden and Martin and the New York engineering firm of Hitchings and Company. It represents a unique collaboration of architects, engineers, landscape architects, sculptors and artisans.

Jensen conceived the Conservatory as a series of naturalistic landscapes under glass, a revolutionary idea at the time. The simple yet strong shape of the structure, which is meant to emulate the haystacks of the Midwest, complements the collection of plants and foliage that it houses.

Today, the Conservatory still follows the original tenets of Jensen. One of the most popular rooms is the first presented to visitors, the Palm Room. In it over 84 different varieties of palm trees can be found from the over 2,700 known to exist today. Of particular importance is the double coconut palm first grown by employees of the Conservatory in 1959. The double coconut palm is only found off the coast of South Africa in its native environment and produces what is believed to be the largest seed of any plant in the world weighing up to 50 lb. The double coconut palm at the Conservatory died of currently unknown causes in February 2012.

After many decades of neglect, the conservatory underwent a multi-million dollar restoration in 1994. The non-profit Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance formed to help maintain the structure and provide programs and services for visitors.

In a hailstorm on the night of June 30, 2011, the Conservatory suffered catastrophic damage to glass in showrooms as well as production houses where plants are grown or stored. Five recently-renovated showrooms contained laminated glass and therefore sustained less damage. Some areas were reopened to the public on July 3, 2011.

Photo captured April 27, 2012.

NIKON D7000 1/321 second F/9.0 ISO 100 18 mm

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Spotlight Images

Francisco Romero from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Wonderful image for a wonderful conservatory. Great colors!

4 Jun 2012 7:06am

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

good shot

4 Jun 2012 7:08am

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom

Nice frame

4 Jun 2012 7:39am

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Marvellous view and I like how you step back to use the road in the composition. Special sky as well!

4 Jun 2012 10:40am

Yonatan from New York, United States

Very nice capture and HDR processing. Interesting background information as well.

4 Jun 2012 10:41am

Curly from South Shields, United Kingdom

There was me thinking that Garfield was a cat!
Excellent picture.

4 Jun 2012 11:28am

Jason Politte from Conway, AR, United States

Beautiful details and colors - nicely done, Steven!

4 Jun 2012 11:33am

Rick from Toronto, Canada

An excellent image and informative read, Steven!

4 Jun 2012 11:34am

Mariana M. from Waterloo, Canada

Beautiful . Great sky

4 Jun 2012 12:48pm

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

I really like the curves of this building... So beautiful ! Have a lovely day :)

4 Jun 2012 6:31pm

tataray from france, France

Ohhh grande profondeur sur le ciel... Superbe effet)

4 Jun 2012 6:39pm

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

excelletn HDR work again

4 Jun 2012 6:58pm

RBL from Oxford, United States

Very beautiful architectural design ... I wish we had one in our area ~ fantastic clarity and beautiful shot!

4 Jun 2012 7:45pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

very nice HDR

4 Jun 2012 9:14pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

This is a place I would surely appreciate visiting ... great shots.

4 Jun 2012 10:01pm

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

A beautiful image of this elegant structure. It's interesting about the hail damage which is not a small worry in the Mid-West.

4 Jun 2012 10:05pm

Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

It has a typical design from that period, quite beautiful, and still standing.

4 Jun 2012 10:29pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Gorgeous architecture. Beautful. I am sorry that they was so much damage to it from the hailstorm.

5 Jun 2012 1:11am

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

That is a terrific shot.

5 Jun 2012 3:12am

LauraS from Chico, United States

Wonderful composition. I love the beautiful clouds above the smart building.

5 Jun 2012 3:25am

B. Thomas from Arlington, Texas, United States

Yikes, not a good place to be in a hail storm. Nice shot.

5 Jun 2012 4:02am

Sam from Chennai, India

Beautiful image. Wonderful sky. :)

5 Jun 2012 6:32am