This famous conservatory was built between 1890 and 1895. It has four separate display areas: the Palm House, the Fernery, the Orchid House and the Show House. The Show House is used for seasonal exhibits such as a small Christmas town serviced by a circulating train during the holidays. The town is surrounded by an astonishing array of colorful poinsettias from the Winter Rose to the Monet Twilight poinsettia. The Palm House rises 50-feet high, topped by a dome.
Informative plaques throughout the muggy conservatory inform the visitor of things like Illinois was once a wet tropical forest (a small dinosaur would thus "feel at home" here). Travel deeper and you'll find myth-destroying information such as the fact that Spanish Moss is neither Spanish nor moss. The Orchid House is spectacular, displaying some of the 20,000 different species of the flower.
The conservatory is full of great photo opportunities whether you want your friends and family immortalized in the conservatory or if you just want to remember some of earth's precious bounty.
Outside, in the summer, the garden near the conservatory's entrance is a vibrant mix of everything, plantwise, and would be fit for Queen Elizabeth herself. Kids run excitedly about, ignoring pleas from their parents, and footballs and frisbees are thrown back and forth. Winter comes, the garden dies, and the giant bust of Sir Georg Solti that overlooks the garden has nothing to stimulate his eyes until springtime.
The Lincoln Park Conservatory is an irreplaceable Chicago treasure, as we city folks need a respite from the cursing angry drivers. There are times when we just need to breath air that didn't go through a bus first.
Centerstage Reviewer: Jeremy Freeden