Belle Isle Conservatory Structural Improvements - Phase 1
The 15,000 SF Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory was designed by Albert Kahn and built in 1904. The historic building is composed of the Palm House, North and South Wing, Show Room, and Entrance Vestibule. Spanning over seventy feet across and nearly seventy feet in height, the main Palm House required immediate structural repairs due to the deterioration of the original steel truss columns. To inform the design, we located and reviewed historic drawings and performed a field survey to determine actual built conditions. We carefully selected materials to blend into the existing structure and reduce maintenance. Details including fasteners were highly considered for historic authenticity. Careful planning and coordination were required to preserve the plants that remained within the Palm Dome during construction. Historical items including thermostats from a 1953 renovation and an Anemometer were salvages and reinstalled at the end of the project.