Shattered, but still standing

Posted on July 3, 2011

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Garfield Park Conservatory begins to recover from a catastrophic storm

A June 30 storm had devastating effects on one of Chicago’s treasures: the Garfield Park Conservatory. More than 100 years old, the conservatory is a peaceful oasis on the city’s west side.

Baseball-sized hail destroyed several panes of glass, some of which still hang precariously from the ceiling. Now, precious plants are covered in shattered glass and are vulnerable until staff can make extensive repairs.

The heartbreak is clear in the letter from the president of the Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance in response to the hailstorm damage.

Still reeling from the effects, staff and supporters are moving forward. Parts of the conservatory will open today, July 3, in honor of the conservatory’s tradition of being open every day of the year.

Rebuilding will take time and lots of support. Many people who love the conservatory will host fundraisers, such as a soup and bread event on July 6.  To make a contribution, visit the Garfield Park Conservatory Website.

July 21 Update: It’s going to take $2 million just to clean up the glass.  For a Better Chicago is now offering to match donations to the Garfield Park Conservatory, up to $10,000.  (Watch the video that describes the match.)

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