The Queens Greenhouse in Forest Park is a little over one hundred years old, believed to be designed by legendary greenhouse builders Lord & Burnham, who also built the New York Botanical Garden, the United States Botanic Garden in Washington D.C., and the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh.
Here is what the Queens Greenhouse looked like in recent years, April 2009 to be exact, when we took this tour of the park:
4 million dollars and 3 years later, take a look at our state of the art Greenhouse now --
Before the ribbon cutting, there was a brief ceremony led by Adrian Benepe, New York City's Commissioner of Parks and Recreation. He noted what an important day this reopening was as the Queens Greenhouse here in Woodhaven provides plants and flowers to numerous locations throughout the city, including many of the Greenstreet locations, the US Open, and other parks. There were children from local schools and community leaders and representatives from elected officials in attendance. It was a beautiful day and a terrific turnout.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall spoke about how the Queens Greenhouse provides plants and flowers to official ceremonies at Queens Borough Hall. And Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski spoke about the fantastic work of the gardeners and volunteers that make all our parks, not just Forest Park, so beautiful. And they all stressed how much more productive they will be with the new Greenhouses compared to the old, which were falling apart, beset by falling panes of glass, with rusted cranks and windows. The new greenhouses will allow for year round growing -- and as a result we are going to see some terrific beauty in our park this summer.
By the way, the Parks Department is openly seeking volunteers to help them with their gardening (along with many other things). If you are interested, click here. Here is a short video we made of the ceremony and the inside of the new Queens Greenhouse:
If you are interested in viewing the entire ceremony (unedited, 35 minutes in length) click here.
The inside of the Queens Greenhouse is beautiful -- it was surprisingly cool (I think they turned on the fans for the guests) -- and, it goes without saying, it was loaded with beautiful flowers and plants. We'll present the rest of this update with very few words as the pictures speak for themselves.
During the tour, we ended up in a section of the Greenhouse that hasn't been renovated. It was steamy hot in there and one of the gardeners advised us that this is intentional as these are tropical plants. Many of these plants are moved to Flushing Corona Park later in the year for the US Open.
It was a lot cooler in the new Greenhouse -- and so colorful!
We look forward to seeing what the design artists and gardeners come up with for our park, and others across the city. We leave you with this last shot of a beautiful scene on the grounds of the Queens Greenhouse.
If you have any comments, or would like to suggest other projects, drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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Photos by Joey Wendell