Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens

My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting our oldest child at the University of Pittsburgh a couple of weekends ago. We had not seen her since her Easter break, and between two jobs, a full class load and being responsible for planning several events for a major campus student organization, her schedule had not allowed for an afternoon visit in quite some time. She just smiles, rubs some dirt in the wounds and moves forward to face the next challenge. We are very proud of her and what she has accomplished. Our children all do us proud.

On this particular visit we had lunch at my favorite place in Oakland and then set off for the Phipps Conservatory. I was kind of on the fence about whether this was a good way to spend the day, I really had no idea what to expect. I was stunned by the overpowering beauty and sheer magnitude of what has been put together there. I was delighted with the visit, and would encourage anyone who is in the area to pay the Conservatory a visit. I doubt it will disappoint you.

The Phipps Conservatory is a two acre Victorian greenhouse that was a gift to the City of Pittsburgh by philanthropist Henry Phipps Jr. Phipps was a partner of Andrew Carnegie in the days of Carnegie Steel. Like Carnegie, Phipps believed that along with wealth came a moral responsibility to use some of that wealth to benefit the public at large. He built the conservatory at Oakland in 1893 at the edge of Schenley Park. Since then literally thousands of botanical specimens, both common and rare, have been added to the Botanical Garden's collection. The Conservatory houses a Palm Court, an Orchid Room, a Butterfly Room, a Tropical Fruit and Spice Room, a Desert Room and several more interior displays. Outside there is a Japanese Courtyard Garden, A Kid's Discovery Garden and an Aquatic Garden.

We were also fortunate enough to have gone when they had fine glass work by Dale Chihuly and Hans Godo Frabel both on display as we caught them in the process of moving the Chihuly display out and the Frabel display in. All very nice.

In all I took over 100 photographs, some of which I offer here as a slide show. This is the first slide show I have created in this manner so please forgive me if it goes horribly wrong...

No comments: