Garfield Park Conservatory reopens some rooms following hail damage

July 4, 2011

(WBEZ/Andrew Gill)

Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory is partially open again.

The landmark glass house designed by the famous landscape architect Jens Jensen suffered major hail damage last Thursday. The conservatory web site said hail shattered about half the panes in roofs of the Fern Room, the Show House and nine greenhouses. The Desert House also had significant damage. Those rooms remain closed.

"This is an absolutely devastating loss, it's the irony that Mother Nature released her wrath on a building that houses nature itself," said Zvezdana Kubat, a spokesperson for the Chicago Park District. "She obviously doesn't pick and choose."

The rooms that reopened had been renovated with double-paned glass, and sustained minimal damage. They include the Palm House, the Children's Garden, Sugar From the Sun, and some outdoor gardens.

The conservatory is still assessing the damage and is raising money to cover the losses.