Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
is a complex of buildings and grounds set in Schenley Park
Schenley Park is a large municipal park located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, between the neighborhoods of Oakland, Greenfield, and Squirrel Hill. It is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district...
, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...
, United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
(near the Carnegie Museums in Oakland). It is a City of Pittsburgh historic landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects deemed worthy of preservation...
The gardens were founded in 1893 by steel and real-estate magnate Henry Phipps
Henry Phipps, Jr. was an American entrepreneur and major philanthropist.-Biography:He was the son of an English shoemaker who emigrated in the early part of the 19th century to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania before settling in Pittsburgh. When a child, he was a friend and neighbor to Andrew Carnegie...
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
Arecaceae or Palmae , are a family of flowering plants, the only family in the monocot order Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical, subtropical, and warm temperate climates...
Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to arid climates or soil conditions. Succulent plants store water in their leaves, stems, and also in roots...
is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers. Similar practices exist in other cultures, including the Chinese tradition of penjing from which the art originated, and the miniature living landscapes of Vietnamese hòn non bộ...
The Orchidaceae, commonly referred to as the orchid family, is a morphologically diverse and widespread family of monocots in the order Asparagales. Along with the Asteraceae, it is one of the two largest families of flowering plants, with between 21,950 and 26,049 currently accepted species,...
, etc.). Currently the facilities house elaborate gardens within the thirteen room conservatory itself and on the adjoining grounds. In addition to its primary flora exhibits, the sophisticated glass and metalwork of the Lord & Burnham
Lord & Burnham was a noted American boiler and greenhouse manufacturers, and builders of major public conservatories in the United States....
conservatory offers an interesting example of Victorian
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...
The entrance pavilion of the Phipps Conservatory has silver-level LEED
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design consists of a suite of rating systems for the design, construction and operation of high performance green buildings, homes and neighborhoods....
| Indoor rooms
|| Outdoor gardens
- Palm Court
- Serpetine Room
- Fern Room
- Orchid Room
- Stove Room
- South Conservatory
- Tropical Fruit and Spice Room
- The Gallery
- Sunken Garden
- Desert Room
- Victoria Room
- Parterre de Boderie Room
- East Room
- Tropical Forest Conservatory
A swan display in the Sunken Garden
during the 2005 Winter Flower Show.
- Discovery Garden
- Japanese Courtyard Garden
- Aquatic Garden
- Outdoor Garden
- Medicinal Plant Garden
- Botany Hall Garden
In October 2003 Phipps announced an expansion project. The first phase, a green
Green building refers to a structure and using process that is environmentally responsible and resource-efficient throughout a building's life-cycle: from siting to design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition...
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 two years, 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 second theme is "Headwaters of the Amazon," which opened in early 2009.
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 Solid Oxide fuel cell
A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent. Hydrogen is the most common fuel, but hydrocarbons such as natural gas and alcohols like methanol are sometimes used...
, which powers this newly constructed part of the building. In addition, there are computer-controlled shades that block excess sun light from entering the structure, and also help to insulate it at night.
In 2007, Phipps teamed with glass artist Dale Chihuly
Dale Chihuly is an American glass sculptor and entrepreneur.-Biography:Chihuly graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Tacoma, Washington. He enrolled at the College of the Puget Sound in 1959...
and his Seattle-based team of glass blowers. They worked together to create a 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
A chandelier is a branched decorative ceiling-mounted light fixture with two or more arms bearing lights. Chandeliers are often ornate, containing dozens of lamps and complex arrays of glass or crystal prisms to illuminate a room with refracted light...
, the hanging gold star in the Desert Room, the celadon
Celadon is a term for ceramics denoting both a type of glaze and a ware of a specific color, also called celadon. This type of ware was invented in ancient China, such as in the Zhejiang province...
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, all of which are installed in the Palm Court. The total Chihuly collection is valued at $1.2 million.
In 2009, Phipps teamed with another glass artist Hans Godo Frabel
Hans Godo Frabel is an East German-born lampwork glass blower, now living and working in the USA.-Biography:...
to create another stunning exhibit titled "Gardens and Glass." Unlike the Chihuly pieces, Frabel's work is more realistic, although still whimsical at times. Highlights of this exhibit include Longfellows, intricate glass orchid and lotus plants and various clowns (balancing on either glass playing cards or colored glass balls.) This collaboration will be on display until January 2010.