Tuesday, January 13, 2009

San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers – Part I

Late Sunday afternoon, after a day of helping out our mother at her apartment building, my sister and I decided to give ourselves a pat on the back by rewarding ourselves with walk around Golden Gate Park. We decided to go to the Conservatory of Flowers since my sister had not been since the completion of the $25 million reconstruction project in 2003.

The Conservatory has interesting roots. It was found, still in crates, amongst the effects of the richest man in California, James Lick, after he passed away in 1876. After prominent San Francisco businessmen purchased the Conservatory from the Lick Estate, they donated it to the Park Commission of San Francisco. By 1879 the Victorian structure was erected and the Conservatory was open to the public.

Even though the structure has seen two fires, in 1883 and 1918, and suffered severe damage from a windstorm in 1995 which closed the structure for eight years, it survived the 1906 earthquake.

The Victorian architecture features plenty of gingerbread details: 

The dome looks great from the outside:

And the inside:


Their floors are divine:

Their signage is beautiful:

They have a some lovely displays:

and impressive displays of epiphytes:

This is just a sneak peek, next time I’ll show you lots of flowers. Watch this (blog)spot!


Laurie said...

Wow! What a beautiful conservatory. It was fun taking the tour! I found you through Robin (bird tweets) comments and I loved your comment to her about the second half of life. It helped me too... Laurie

Emily said...

My husband and I visited Golden Gate Park in April 1996. We remember being so disappointed we couldn't go in the conservatory. What a beautiful place. Can't wait to see more photos.

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Laurie,
Thank you for dropping by! I'm glad you were able to use Angeles Arrien's advice: "hasten slowly". Welcome to my blog!

Dear Jemm,
It was closed for so long, we got out of the habit of going. I'm glad you enjoyed this mini tour, there are at least two more posts coming.

paris parfait said...

Oh, wow! Last time I saw it, all the windows were smashed. Thanks so much for sharing these photos. It looks gorgeous!

A Cuban In London said...

Oh, this is just so beautiful. I will be rushing to the second part now :-).


Greetings from London.

My Castle in Spain said...

this is my kind of place ! i could spend the whole day there...such an elegant structure...

Dutchbaby said...

Dear Tara,
Must mean you have to return to see it for yourself!

Dear Cuban,
And look, there's a third part now!

Dear Lala,
It is a wonderful place to spend many hours!

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