Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens

Infobox_nrhp | name = Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
nrhp_type =

imagesize = 300px
caption = Main entrance to Phipps Conservatory & Botanical Gardens
location= Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
area =
built =1893
architect= Lord & Burnham
architecture= Victorian greenhouse
added = November 13, 1976
governing_body = Local government
refnum=76001598cite web|url=|title=National Register Information System|date=2006-03-15|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is a complex of buildings and grounds set in Schenley Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States (near the Carnegie Museums in Oakland).

The gardens were founded in 1893 by steel and real-estate magnate Henry Phipps as a gift to the City of Pittsburgh. Its purpose is to educate and entertain the people of Pittsburgh with formal gardens (Roman, English, etc.) and various species of exotic plants (palm trees, succulents, bonsai, orchids, etc.). Currently the facilities house elaborate gardens within the thirteen room conservatory itself and on the adjoining grounds. In addition to lovely flora, the sophisticated glass and metalwork of the Lord & Burnham conservatory offers a wonderful example of Victorian greenhouse architecture.

The Phipps Conservatory has silver-level LEED certification.



In October 2003 Phipps announced an ambitious expansion project. The first phase of which, a green engineered Welcome Center topped by a neo-Victorian dome, was designed by IKM Incorporated, and completed in 2005. The Production Greenhouses and a Tropical Forest Conservatory were completed in 2006.

The Tropical Forest conservatory will have a different theme every year, beginning with the country of Thailand. In addition to a "Research Forest Station" and a "Healer's Hut" (designed to educate visitors about various cultural topics), there are two waterfalls, several bridges, a stream and a wide variety of plants, from Bamboo, Orchids and Frangipani to plants of economic, cultural and horticultural value to the people of Thailand. The new Tropical Forest Conservatory has several interesting features, which make it extremely energy-efficient (for a glass house.) It has "earth tubes" running underground to help cool the tropical forest, and a Soild Oxide fuel cell, which powers this newly constructed part of the building.

In 2007, Phipps teamed with glass artist Dale Chihuly and his Seattle-based team of glass blowers. They worked together to create a lovely and creative marriage of hand-blown glass and living plants. Following the closing of the exhibit in February, the conservatory retained four prominent pieces (the Welcome Center chandelier, the hanging gold star in the Desert Room, the celadon and purple gilded Fiori in the Tropical Fruit and Spice Room and the bronze, apricot and chartreuse Ikebana in the Palm Court) and subsequently purchased 26 smaller pieces for its permanent collection including six multi-colored Macchia (wavy, shell-like bowls), 13 amber Cattails and seven Paintbrushes that will all be installed in the Palm Court. The total Chihuly collection is valued at $1.2 million. [ [ PG: Chihuly works will become permanent fixtures at Phipps, July 10, 2008] ]


*cite book | author=Toker, Franklin | title=Pittsburgh: An Urban Portrait | location=Pittsburgh | publisher=University of Pittsburgh Press | year=1986, 1994 | id=ISBN 0-8229-5434-6

External links

* [ Phipps Conservatory Website]
* [ Gigapan of Phipps display of Dale Chihuly: IIkebana, 2007]
* [ Gigapan of Phipps display of Dale Chihuly: River of Glass, 2007]
* [ Gigapan of Phipps display of Dale Chihuly: Blue Marlins, Cobalt Fiori, Cobalt Reeds and Niijima Floats, 2007]

* [ WQED onQ: Phipps Tropical Forest: Thailand]


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