BELLE ISLE UPDATES

Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory Truss Replacement Project

April 12, 2019 update: To ensure public safety, the conservatory will remain closed until the entire construction project is completed in late June or early July. As of April 12, 2019, the plans are to open the Conservatory for special holiday hours to feature the Easter Lily Show. The Conservatory will be open Easter weekend and the following weekend on Saturday and Sunday (April 20-21 and 27-28. Visit the conservatory's Facebook page (Facebook.com/ASWConservatory) to learn about change in hours.

March 4, 2019 update: To ensure public safety, the conservatory will remain closed until the entire construction project is completed in July. The feasibility of opening the conservatory on weekends, including the Easter Lily Show (April 20-21 and 27-28), will be evaluated in April. It periodically will open on the weekends and holidays as construction conditions allow. Visit the conservatory's Facebook page (Facebook.com/ASWConservatory) to learn about change in hours.

February 12, 2019 update:  Ideal Contracting, LLC, has set up scaffolding and containment for the safety of staff and workers. Since they are moving forward with the truss replacement and repair at a pace of two every two weeks, the facility will be closed until the end of April 2019. This is being done so that the project can be completed in a timely manner. However, the Conservatory will be open Easter weekend, April 20th and 21st and the following weekend, April 27th and 28th so that the public can enjoy the historic Easter Lily Show.  

February 7, 2019 update: The Conservatory is closed for precautionary measures this weekend (Feb 9 and 10) to the public due to abatement currently underway.  The DNR will continue to review public access on a weekly basis.  In efforts to keep the public safe and provide access to the Conservatory, access may change on a weekly basis. 

 

February 1, 2019 update: The Conservatory will be open from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturdays and Sundays. 

 

November 26, 2018 update: Until further notice, the Conservatory will remain closed for precautionary measures to the public due to abatement currently underway.  The DNR will continue to review public access on a weekly basis.  

November 21, 2018 update: The Conservatory is closed for precautionary measures this weekend to the public due to abatement currently underway.  The DNR will continue to review public access on a weekly basis.  In efforts to keep the public safe and provide access to the Conservatory, access may change on a weekly basis. 

October 6, 2018 update: Construction will take place from October 2018 to April 2019. During this time, the Conservatory's Dome (Palm House) will be closed to the public. The north and south wings and the show house will be open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. Access to the facility will be through the Main entrance. The gardens will be open to the public from Wednesday to Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. 

Information from DNR Press Release issued September 20, 2018

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/MIDNR/bulletins/20eb175

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in Belle Isle Park is set to undergo a $1.9 million renovation project, starting in October. The conservatory – a popular attraction at the Detroit island park – features an exotic and rare collection of plants from around the world.

 

The scheduled work is critical to help preserve the nation’s oldest continually running aquarium and conservatory facility, one of the most significant historic structures on the island. 

 

After the Michigan Department of Natural Resources completed a 2017 engineering study, a structural assessment concluded that portions of the 20 steel trusses supporting the conservatory dome – also known as the Palm House – need replacement within the next year. The scope of work this winter will include replacing the first 21 feet of the steel trusses in the conservatory dome.

Construction on this lower portion (or first 21 feet) of the conservatory dome will begin Oct. 1 and should be completed in April 2019. During this time, the conservatory dome will be closed to ensure public safety; however, the north and south wings and the show house will remain open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to access the building through the lily pond garden entrance. Reservations for private events will not be available until May 2019.

 

The $1.9 million project is funded by a $1 million grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation to match the $900,000 of DNR parks and recreation capital infrastructure funds. The project is supported by the Belle Isle Conservancy and will enable critical repairs to be made to this iconic facility.

 

The work will be done by Ideal Contracting, LLC, a local Detroit business. 

 

This project is the first phase of a comprehensive revitalization plan for both the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory and the Belle Isle Aquarium by the DNR and Belle Isle Conservancy. Approximately $5 million in additional funds is being sought for repairs to the upper portion of the conservatory dome.   

 

Belle Isle Park attracts more than 4 million people a year and is a true historic icon and recreational asset for Detroit residents and visitors. Thousands of visitors seek out the conservatory to view and enjoy specimen plants and trees from around the world. 

For more information, contact Amanda Treadwell, DNR urban field planner, at 313-396-6872 or treadwella@michigan.gov.

 

Belle Isle Conservancy | 300 River Place Drive, Suite 2800, Detroit, MI 48207 | 313.331.7760 | info@belleisleconservancy.org

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon