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Phipps Conservatory

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1893, Lord and Burnham; 2005–2008 Welcome Center, greenhouses, Tropical Forest, and administration building, IKM Architects. 1 Schenley Park Dr.
  • Phipps Conservatory

This is the most prominent of a number of socially useful gifts made to Pittsburgh by Carnegie's partner Henry Phipps. This greenhouse, slightly earlier than the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory at the New York Botanical Gardens, is by the same Irvington-on-Hudson firm. It is located adjacent to Panther Hollow in Schenley Park.

The Phipps consists of a series of domed glass pavilions for tropical and desert plants, ferns, flowers, orchids, and palm trees. The palms grow in the central and largest room of the conservatory, which reaches 65 feet in height, is 60 feet wide, and 450 feet long. There are thirteen interior display gardens, two courtyards, an outdoor garden, two aquatic gardens, and a rose garden. The only loss to this otherwise perfectly preserved environment was the original Richardsonian Romanesque entrance, which in the 1960s was supplanted by one in International Style. That insensitive intrusion was itself replaced in 2005, with a dramatic glass-bubbled welcome center and café, followed by growing houses, a 12,000-square-foot Tropical Forest conservatory, and an education/administration building, all models of sustainability and studied by architects for their energy efficiency and style.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.



  • 1893

  • 2005

    Welcome Center

What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Phipps Conservatory", [Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 70-71.

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