All Wood and No Glass – Is It Still A Conservatory?

Posted June 8th, 2016 by Nicole Mihalos and filed in Conservatory Projects, General, Insights, Uncategorized
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Have you been to the only conservatory in the world made entirely of wood?

One of the most visited sites in all of San Diego, CA is the Botanical Building in Balboa Park. Built for the 1915-1916 Panama-California Exposition, the now 100+ year old structure is the ONLY ALL-WOOD LATH CONSERVATORY on the planet!

hello botanical garden

It also happens to be one of the LARGEST CONSERVATORIES in the world! Although we tend to think of conservatories as glass buildings, this one demonstrates how remarkable the design of conservatories of the 19th century has evolved. That’s probably why it is an inspiration to Tanglewood. Passionate about 19th century conservatory design/architecture, Tanglewood is always finding NEW, INNOVATIVE WAYS to bring UNIQUE DESIGN CONCEPTS to life in every project.

Alfred D. Robinson, who was recognized as a world authority on begonias, is credited with the concept of this lath conservatory. He created a structure that would be ideal for those surprisingly versatile and shade-loving begonias he loved so much.

These days, the conservatory houses MORE THAN 2,000 PERMANENT PLANTS, including collections of cycads, ferns, orchids and other tropical plants. The building is also known forInside the Botanical Building. Balboa Park, San Diego.

presenting some Balboa Park’s best seasonal displays of flowers.

The structure is fronted by an equally famous large lily pond that is home to kid-fascinating turtles and a grand selection of colorful, mature koi, plus a collection of wandering ducks all open to the San Diego sky. Often the first impression a visitor has when entering the conservatory itself is of cool dimness and the fecund smell of moist earth as their eyes adjust the amazing collection of plants appear.

This marvelous LATH CONSERVATORY is huge! It measures 60 FEET TALL at the top and the footprint is 75 FEET WIDE by 250 FEET LONG. This not only allows for full-grown tall plants, but creates ample space for generous paths wandering the whole length and breadth of the building. Even with a moderate crowd it’s possible to have a sense of privacy once or twice as you explore.

You’ll often find yourself face-to-face with captivating and EXOTIC PLANTS at almost every turn. Many of the larger displays of plants are surrounded by containers that are designed for easy sitting. Great spots to look closely at a plant or just to relax for a minute or longer.

The Botanical Building Conservatory is open every day but Thursdays from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon and closed on most holidays. Amazingly, it’s FREE TO THE PUBLIC! You can confirm the schedule and find out about special events and exhibits at its official website.

The Botanical Building will delight you and often surprise you – both wonderful reasons for a visit or even two.

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