Thursday night's storms in Chicago caused a lot of damage. The majority of the golf-ball hail was reported by the Chicago Tribune was centered on Little Village and East Garfield Park. I live in East Garfield Park and the hail came down for over 10 minutes in what was the most noteable storm of its kind in my own history. My vegetable garden and car were trashed. It wasn't until I received an email from our neighborhood listserv that I realized that the storms had ravished those old glass roofs of the Conservatory as well.
For those of you familiar with Garfield Park Conservatory, you know what a gem it is. It reopened some 15 years ago after being in disrepair and winter temperatures threathening to kill some of the hundred year old plants. Throughout the last 15 years, many inmprovements have been made, and new glass was put on the main entrance and the old sweet house.
However, the Fern Room, Desert House, Show Room and the production greenhouses all had the century old glass on their cielings. If you can imagine that my car wind shield was broken on Thursday night, you can imagine that the old glass pieces of the Conservatory were no match for the hail. Now shattered glass covers many of the plants, and direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures threated the same plants that were given extra protection15 years ago .
Fox News Chicago has some great aerial footage showing just how extensive the damage was to this building on the National Registry of Historic Places. Help out if you can by donating here to help rebuild those glass roofs so that the Conservatory can be re-opened to the public and its plant collections be protected.