Featured Historical Site: The Conservatory

The Conservatory  

In 1908 Indianapolis hired a gifted visionary, George Edward Kessler, a German-born landscape architect with considerable engineering and city planning ability as well. Because he loved his work, he loved Garfield Park. It became his jewel. Kessler had great respect for the rich horticultural heritage of Garfield Park. Today the rainforest exhibit is an exciting place to explore, for young and old alike.  Let us make your day!

Welcome to our amazing Conservatory: Script 7#

In 1908: The powers-that-be in Indianapolis, hired a gifted visionary, George Kessler, a German-born landscape architect with considerable engineering and city planning ability as well.

Kessler developed, what is known as, The Indianapolis Parks and Boulevard System, which was adopted in 1909. He had, also, developed a complete master plan for Garfield Park that included the Conservatory and the Sunken Garden.

The Conservatory was completed around 1915, replete with curvilinear plant-like patterns and arches. The dedication of the Sunken Garden and Fountains was celebrated in 1916. In the following years major changes occurred, beginning with the United States entering WW l in April of 1917. The economy tumbled and the country became cautious and uncertain of the future.

It would be decades later: after the Great Depression and the impact of two World Wars—that the country and the Park Community, too, began to show signs of recovery.

By the mid-1950’s, they were eager and able to replace the Showhouse.

Burns and Burns architectural firm of Indianapolis, brought forward thinking to the table. Their solution was a first-of-its-kind in the United States. A welded aluminum and glass structure—minus all interior structural columns. Truly the perfect venue for a dramatic horticultural conservatory.

People came and still come from across the country to enjoy our storied Conservatory. They are never disappointed. The staff and volunteers work hard to maintain our well-earned reputation.

You must come visit! So much to explore throughout the Rain Forest Exhibit . . . stunning plantings . . .a waterfall . . . and so much more!

We have planned adventures for kids and self-guided tours for adults and families. Check online at GarfieldParkIndy.org for upcoming Events.

There are experiences to be had all year long in the Conservatory—and throughout the Park.

Please . . . Let us make your Day!

If you’d like to share a comment about the tour or memory of the Park we’d love to hear from you. If you’re listening to this audio in the mobile website, you may leave a comment at bottom of each page. If you’ve used a phone to call in to the audio tour, press zero and the # sign now… to leave a comment.

Thanks for visiting today, please tell your friends about this tour and connect with us on social media to keep up with all the special events happening at the Conservatory.


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