Earth Day

Hail-Damaged Garfield Park Conservatory Reopens on Earth Day

Hail severely damaged the glass-roofed greenhouse during a storm in 2011

Chicago's Garfield Park Conservatory will reopen its Fern Room after extensive repairs to its glass roofs, which were damaged during a 2011 storm.

The reopening was scheduled for Wednesday, which is also Earth Day.

Hail shattered about 60 percent of the conservatory's glass roofs four years ago. The Fern Room sustained the most damage. Its tropical plants were sheltered by a temporary roof during repairs. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the conservatory never completely closed to the public.

The conservatory now has replaced 31,000 individual glass panes, each cut by hand. The work cost $5.4 million, largely covered by insurance.

The huge greenhouse on the city's West Side is one of the largest conservatories in the country and is more than 100 years old.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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