Unique open houses at the Conservatory

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Within the confines of Volunteer Park lies Seattle’s great crystal palace, the Conservatory. Since opening in 1912, the Conservatory continues to collect and conserve a diverse collection of plants, transporting visitors beyond the Pacific Northwest into almost-otherworldly climates and locales.  Its mission has not changed in nearly a century.

To help ensure this mission continues, a group of volunteers called the Friends of the Conservatory (FOC) are working hard to raise necessary funds to complete renovations to the building.  Those efforts began back in 1993, and the final phase of work on the Conservatory will include the Seasonal House, the Cactus House and the working area in the East Greenhouse.

With Stephanie Toliver-Johnson at the Conservatory. Feb 2010

Restoration of this nature does not come cheaply – the framework holding the nearly 3,500 panes of glass must be restored. The Friends of the Conservatory are working to raise $3.5 million to complete the project and provide another 100 years of education-driven beauty to visitors.

FOC will host a number of open houses in August, and I’d encourage a visit to any or all of them to appreciate this gem in Volunteer Park and to understand how best to support them to provide another century of work.  The Conservatory is currently free to the public (though donations are welcomed and encouraged) and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 4pm. Check the information below for details on the open houses.

On the eve of our centennial, your stately neighborhood Conservatory will open its doors on three special evenings to give you a sneak peek of what’s to come in the next hundred years.  
The Friends of the Conservatory are hosting three unique evening open houses this August. With plans to complete the final phase of the restoration, the upcoming centennial next year, and the constantly changing seasonal flora there is much to see and learn about!
Please join us from 6:00pm to 8:00pm on August 4, 18, and 25.
Docents will be available to provide information about exciting new changes and share their vast horticultural knowledge. In addition, each evening will feature the following unique event:   

  • August 4th- Local photographer Sara Chapman will be launching her visually stunning new book Flowers of Volunteer Park Conservatory: Blooming Month By Month, and be available for signing.
  • August 18th– A look behind the scenes – take a guided tour of the rarely seen production facilities where the rotating collections are held.  
  • August 25th– Live music!

Don’t miss this special opportunity to visit the Volunteer Park Conservatory; choose one evening or come for all three! All events are free and open to the public. We look forward to seeing you in August!  

1402 East Galer Street Seattle, WA 98112 – (206) 322-4112