click images for larger viewOn June 30th, the Jens Jensen designed, century-old Garfield Park Conservatory, one of Chicago's crown jewels, suffered major damage from a severe hailstorm.
A major 1994 renovation resulted in several larger rooms, including the great Palm house, being reglazed a stronger, laminated glass that withstood the storm.
Joseph Ebentraut of the Huffington Post pegged the cost of the cleanup, exclusive of construction and repair, to be upwards of $2 million. Insurance is expect to cover some of the cost, estimated on one video at $250 per pane, but not all. You can contribute to the restoration directly on the Conservatory's website. Right now, For a Better Chicago is matching on-line contributions up to $10,000. (At the beginning of August, they were at $6,000 towards that goal.)
In addition, there are a number of benefits being held to support the cleanup.
This Sunday, August 21, from 12 noon to 4:00 p.m., Big Star Taqueria and Bar at 1531 North Damen will be holding a Everything but the Kitchen Sink sidewalk sale selling used and undamaged dishware, furniture and kitchen supplies from the Blackbird group of restaurants, including Blackbird, Publican, Violet Hour, Big Star and Avec.
Thursday, September 1st, 5:30 - 8:00 p.m., Lincoln Park Zoo's Wine and Wildflowers event will also benefit the restoration of the Garfield Park Conservatory, and will feature Chicago Park District historian Julia Bachrach. Tickets, which must be reserved by August 29, are $95.00, and they can be purchased on-line.
And tomorrow evening, Thursday, August 18th, Lincoln Hall, 2424 North Lincoln, will hold an 8:00 p.m. Garfield Park Conservatory benefit (tickets $20.00) featuring Bobby Conn, Del Rey, Sunken Ships, Bare Mutants, Rivals of the Peacemaker, and DJ Scary Lady Sarah, which, remarkably, are also all the names of varieties of orchids.
Property damage cannot be avoided in the face of natural occurrences like hailstorms and earthquakes. For important local landmarks like the Garfield Park Conservatory, it is hoped that its restoration is carried out with the help of the local community.
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