The Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 2019
steel city out of the smoke a glass house...
Henry Phipps Junior and his Amazing Glass House
Henry Phipps, Jr. was born on September 27, 1839, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His family settled in Pittsburgh when he was six years old. Henry co-founded Carnegie Steel Company in 1892 with his childhood friend Andrew Carnegie. In 1901, Mr. Carnegie sold the company for 400 million dollars. Henry became a very wealthy man.
Henry Phipps was a philanthropist. He wanted to use his money to help people live better lives, especially the millworkers in Pittsburgh. Steel production was hard and dirty work. The mills poured smoke and pollution into the air. It was so bad that Pittsburgh became known as the Smoky City.
In 1892, Henry Phipps commissioned the Lord & Burnham Company to build a conservatory in beautiful Schenley Park. Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens opened its doors to the public a year later, on December 7, 1893.
The people of Pittsburgh have enjoyed Phipps Conservatory’s Spring and Fall Flower Shows for over 125 years. Today almost 500,000 people from around the world come to see Pittsburgh’s Amazing Glass House.
So, that's the backstory of Pittsburgh's Phipps Conservatory in a nutshell! Phipps has been part of the Pittsburgh architectural landscape for a very long time. It's also been a part of my family's story. My great-great-grandmother was alive when it was built! But I'll save that for next week's post!
PS I pray that all of my readers are staying healthy and safe during this time of uncertainty and anxiety. Jesus tells us not to worry, but to pray. I pray that each and everyone of you can find peace in this storm.
I have a fresh batch of The Amazing Glass House Haiku Storybooks available for purchase in the Beautiful Defect Store! They would make a lovely Easter gift for anyone who loves flowers, history, haiku poetry, or Pittsburgh!! In my case I love all four! Stop by the store and take a look. Free Shipping in the Continental United States. Next Day Shipping! Thank you for your support! What's in your Easter Basket? Or on your Passover Plate?
A Sense of Place Poetry Contest
Call for Submissions: Write a small poem, ten lines or less, about a place, maybe it is a place you love or a place you've visited. Identify the place in your poem. Someone may want to visit! Type it into the comment box on the Contact Page. I will publish the poems on my Poetry Page at the end of April! The winning poem, judged on creativity and sense of place, will receive a copy of my book, The Amazing Glass House!
Send in your best work!