What a long haul and transformation from a neglected, graffiti-tagged shell of a Conservatory to an award-winning jewel. We couldn’t have been more pleased when the Conservatory won Project of the Year Award 2009 for Historic Restorations (under $5 million). The award was granted to the SF Department of Public Works by the Northern California chapter of the American Public Works Association covering 11 counties. And that’s not all: the Conservatory and Friends group were subsequently awarded one of … Read More
How rare to come upon an authentic space of wonder in the middle of the city grid.
William Augustus Merralls, a British engineer and inventor, built this Victorian oasis next to his home on an old dairy farm, in the new Sunnyside District in 1898. Merralls’s original vision was to gather up exotic treasures for his own private delight. His home (now 258 Monterey) still stands today. A serial entrepreneur, Merralls made his money in the invention and sale … Read More
Light floods the interior of the Conservatory, trimmed in salvaged old growth redwood. A custom ringed chandelier is an unforgettable signature element. The solid wood wall in the interior used to lead to the east wing of the Conservatory, demolished in 1978 when a permit was given in error. The Conservatory is officially San Francisco Historical Landmark #78.
Here’s a one-minute video featuring the interior of the Conservatory on Grand Re-Opening Day (to view on a mobile device, … Read More
The days are beginning to shorten and nightfall arrives more quickly, but it’s still a great time to visit the Conservatory and grounds.
Historic Chilean wine, Canary Island date, and Chinese windmill palms grace the exquisite Conservatory Garden. Jason Dewees of the Palm Broker @ Flora Grubb wrote a wonderful blog post about the Conservatory’s historic palm grove.
Soon after the Friends organized, neighbor Roger Pacheco told us he had been given the old finial for safe keeping some twenty years ago when the Conservatory underwent a much smaller set of stabilization repairs. He had been using it as a doorstop in his garage. We were able to have the old finial replicated in new wood and covered in copper. A brave man scaled the exterior and gently set the new finial in place in October 2009.… Read More