Storm-shattered Garfield Park Conservatory closed indefinitely
Hail from last night's storm damaged the roof of the historic Fern Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory in Chicago. (E. Jason Wambsgans, Chicago Tribune / July 1, 2011)
Glass was broken in the Fern House, the Show House, the Desert House and the facility's nine production houses, said Zvezdana Kubat, a Chicago Park District spokeswoman.
"Normally when a hail storm comes through that is not as serious as this one, one or two panes are broken and (workers) just go up and replace them," she said. "This was a lot."
This morning there was hanging broken glass throughout the rooms, making it unsafe for patrons, she said.
"This is kind of repair is more extensive than we've ever had before," said Mary Eysenbach, director of conservatories for the park district.
The danger of falling glass was keeping employees from entering to assess damage, including damage to foliage, she said.
"Glass falling from very high places can cut leaves and damage the stems," she said.
The conservatory was built over 1906 and 1907 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
For more information about the conservatory, go to its Web site.