Garfield Park Conservatory is one of the largest conservatories in the United States. It features permanent and temporary plant exhibits in nearly four and a half acres under glass.
The Garfield Park Conservatory was built between 1906 and 1907 and was designed by Jens Jensen. At the time, conservatories featured plants that were potted, and Jensen’s landscape design was revolutionary. It replaced smaller greenhouses in Garfield, Humboldt, and Douglas Parks and many of the plantings came from these greenhouses.
Visiting Garfield Park Conservatory
The Garfield Park Conservatory features six greenhouses and two grand exhibition halls. The various rooms feature different flora based on the climate. The aroid house features many plants that you might see in homes. It also includes the “Persian Pool”, which is a lagoon surrounded by lily pads that was designed by Chihuly.
The Desert House is a vast collection of cacti and succulents, and the Palm House is a tropical landscape.
One of the most well known parts of the conservatory is the Fern Room. Designed to represent Illinois’ landscape as it might have looked millions of years ago, it features rocky outcroppings and ferns, some as old as three hundred years.
In addition to the indoor gardens there are also outdoor attractions. The City Garden is designed to showcase urban gardening. The Demonstration Garden is open May 1 through November 1 and is a working garden meant to demonstrate urban architecture. The Monet Garden, also open from May to November, is a loose interpretation of the artist’s actual garden.
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Come to the conservatory on a Sunday and you can take a free guided tour at 2pm. There are also themed tours for up to twelve people at a cost of $144. You can also take a self-guided tour by using the information placards that are placed throughout the facility.
The Garfield Park Conservatory is located on the west side of Chicago. It has its own stop on the Green Line, which runs west from downtown Chicago and east from Oak Park. There is also a free small lot and plentiful free street parking in the area.
Garfield Park Conservatory is an oasis in the bustling city, providing a green respite and an easy escape from the hustle and noise.
Garfield Park Conservatory, 300 N Central Park Ave, Chicago, IL 60624, garfieldconservatory.org