Project

Como Park Conservatory

Type

Architectural, Commercial

Location

St. Paul, MN

Share Project

Completed 1993

Refreshing a MN icon.

Team: Shelter (*See History Page)

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

Accolades: AIA-MN Honor Award 1993, Jewel of Como

The restoration of Como Park Conservatory involved restoring the original glass dome and updating and rehabilitating each of the four gardens. The project also required designing new growing houses, and creating a handicapped accessible route through the sunken garden. Much of the glass roof was broken or had been replaced with plastic that had yellowed and become brittle over time. ┬áThe steel structure was rusting as well. New insulating glass was custom made to match the roof’s curvature. The steel structure was thoroughly cleaned and coated with epoxy. An accessible pathway with wide corridors, gentle stairs, and lifts between levels was created from the original flagstone flooring. All mechanical and electrical systems were completely updated and concealed wherever possible. Two original sculptures by Harriet Frishmuth were recovered from storage and installed in prominent positions — one in the sunken garden, the other in a newly-designed fountain in the palm dome.