Lincoln Park Conservatory

  • 2391 N. Stockton Dr.   Chicago, Illinois 60614 [View Map]
  • Park Hours:
  • Park Supervisor: Mary Eysenbach
  • Phone: 312.742.7736

Step inside and be transported to another place and time!  We invite you to take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. 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.

History

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. Silsbee designed the Carlson Cottage, a ladies comfort station southeast of Café Brauer, and Bell designed the Rustic Shelter, located west of the North Pond, near Stockton Drive. 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 Conservatory Greenhouse

Lincoln Conservatory GreenhousePartial

Location: 2391 N. Stockton Dr.

Notes: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House, Show House. For rental information contact Joan Colon at (312) 746-5250. LEARN MORE.

Lincoln Conservatory Garden

Lincoln Conservatory GardenPartial

Location: 2391 N. Stockton Dr.

Notes: Conifer Garden

Descriptors: Ornamental

Lincoln Conservatory Clubroom

Lincoln Conservatory ClubroomPartial

Location: 2391 N. Stockton Drive

Notes: For rental information contact Joan Colon (312) 746-5250

Descriptors: Ornamental

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Description

Step inside and be transported to another place and time!  We invite you to take a journey to the Lincoln Park Conservatory where you will find tropical palms and ancient ferns right in the heart of Lincoln Park. Designed both to showcase exotic plants and grow the thousands of plants needed for use in the parks, the Conservatory offers visitors a tropical experience within its four display houses: Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House and Show House, which is home to the annual flower shows. This historic facility continues to provide an escape to nature to the millions that live in and visit Chicago. 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.

 

FACILITIES

FACILITY TYPE ADDRESS DESCRIPTOR QTY NOTES
Conservatories & Greenhouses 2391 N. Stockton Dr. 0 Palm House, Fern Room, Orchid House, Show House. For rental information contact Joan Colon at (312) 746-5250. LEARN MORE.
Gardens 2391 N. Stockton Dr. Ornamental 1 Conifer Garden
Meeting/Event Space 2391 N. Stockton Drive Ornamental 1 For rental information contact Joan Colon (312) 746-5250
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. Silsbee designed the Carlson Cottage, a ladies comfort station southeast of Café Brauer, and Bell designed the Rustic Shelter, located west of the North Pond, near Stockton Drive. 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.