Spring has arrived early at the Wilder Park Conservatory & Greenhouse. Inside it is a comfortable 80 degrees and the springlike scent of soil and plants lingers. It's hard to believe that just on the other side of the glass is the frigid winds and arctic temperatures of another polar vortex. The contractors continue to wrap up their work; completing paint touch-ups, hanging exterior lights, and installing the Conservatory windows and vestibule. The unfrozen portions of the perimeter construction fence have been removed, giving patrons a better look at the restored Conservatory and new Greenhouse.
As the contractors moved out the Elmhurst Park District maintenance staff was able to get in and work on their portion of the project. EPD staff has completed restoration of the Conservatory pond and waterfall, re-piping the water supply for the structure and installing a new pump and filter. The stones in the rockery were re-mortared in order to form a flowing channel for the water to run down into the pond. The soil in the Conservatory has been hand-tilled in anticipation of the arrival of new plants. Over in the Greenhouse the old office area and restroom were updated with fresh paint and new amenities. Greenhouse staff also took part in a hands-on training for the building's automations systems and controls. As soon as the weather breaks crews will begin exterior landscaping, the final stage of the project.
Please mark your calendars for the Grand Opening on April 27 at 3:00 p.m. The event is free and includes a facility open house, snacks, and a special lecture on the history of conservatories by author and preservationist Julia Bachrach.