Lincoln Park Conservatory
BGCI Member: No
About the Lincoln Park Conservatory
Step inside and be transported to another place and time - Lincoln Park Conservatory - where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns, right in the heart of Lincoln Park.
Constructed in stages between 1890 and 1895, the Conservatory was designed both to showcase exotic plants and to grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks.
Lincoln Park Conservatory was designed by a well known architect of the Victorian era, Joespeh L. Silsbee. He built the Conservatory during a time of great fascination with nature. Studying and classifying plants, animals and insects were common hobbies. People were becoming concerned about the effects of industrialization and conservatories provided "tropical paradises" within cities.
With its four display houses: the Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House - home to the annual flower shows - the Conservatory continues to provide a haven in the city.
No matter the time of year, Lincoln Park Conservatory is always green and lush. Come take a stroll and let yourself be transported away.
Admission is free.
The Lincoln Park Commission constructed the Lincoln Park Conservatory in phases between 1890 and 1895, replacing a small greenhouse that dated from the 1870s. Nationally renowned architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee designed the Conservatory in collaboration with architect M.E. Bell. The park includes a second example of the work of each architect.
During the early nineteenth century developments in iron and glass building technology led to the construction of conservatories in cities throughout Europe and the United States. Later in the century, as people were increasingly concerned about the ill effects of industrialization, they became fascinated with nature and interested in collecting and classifying plants. Large conservatories with display and exhibit rooms gained popularity, and Lincoln Park's small greenhouse no longer seemed sufficient. Architects Silsbee and Bell were commissioned to design a much more substantial building. Rendered in an exotic style, the new structure included palm, fernery, orchid, and show houses. A "paradise under glass," the Conservatory supported "a luxuriant tropical growth, blending the whole into a natural grouping of Nature’s loveliest forms." Historically, aquatic plants propagated in tanks in the Conservatory were planted outside, in artificially-heated lily ponds. The exotic plants were so popular that in 1897 the Egyptian government requested seeds from Lincoln Park's water lilies. The rocky-edged ponds once meandered along what is now the fence line of the Lincoln Park Zoo.
Lincoln Park Conservatory
2391 N. Stockton Dr.
Illinois 60614 United States of America
Telephone: (312) 742-7739
Fax: (312) 742-5619