In the late 1990s, the Chicago Park District began a series of projects to restore and upgrade the historic Garfield Park Conservatory and its surrounding landscape. The 1908 structure, designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen and greenhouse experts, Hitchings & Co., was meant to emulate the shape of a Midwestern haystack. In its original form, the building had an elegant entry vestibule designed by Prairie School architects Schmidt, Garden and Martin. In the 1950s, the Chicago Park District razed the original vestibule and replaced it with a larger and somewhat less attractive modern pavilion.
To create a more inviting entranceway and provide new visitor services such as classrooms, meeting rooms, a gift shop, and larger bathrooms, the Park District demolished the 1950s addition. Architects Booth Hansen & Associates and landscape architects Wolff Clements & Associates designed the new entry building and exterior landscape. Completed in 1998, the project included a concrete and stone rectangular fountain which is located on the terrace in front of the entrance to the Conservatory. The fountain was made possible by a gift from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation.