Looking to get away from the dreariness of winter, with its barren trees and frozen, snow-covered lawns? Chicago has a warm and inviting respite, and it’s called Garfield Park Conservatory.
Unlike the North Side’s smaller Lincoln Park Conservatory, Garfield Park Conservatory is tremendous, sitting on four and a half acres in the redeveloping West Side at 300 N. Central Park Avenue. Designed by legendary landscape architect Jens Jensen in collaboration with Prairie School architects Schmidt, Garden and Martin and the engineering firm of Hitchings and Company, the building’s low, mounded architectural design is reminiscent of Midwestern haystacks. It was completed in 1907 and houses a mind-boggling array of plants from all over the world, grouped in a series of wonderfully designed, naturalistic landscapes. Enlightening, educational and always evolving, it is enjoyable for visitors of all ages.
Once inside the conservatory, you’ll be peeling off your winter wear upon entering The Palm House, a warm tropical paradise where huge palms tower over you to touch vaulted ceilings.