|San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers Official Website: http://www.conservatoryofflowers.org |
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The conservatory describes itself as is the oldest existing public conservatory in the Western Hemisphere. In 1876 the wealthiest man in California, James Lick died. He had purchased a 12,000 square foot (1100 m) Victorian wood and glass greenhouse (Conservatory) for use on his Santa Clara property. At his death the Conservatory was still in crates. In 1877, a syndicate of San Francisco businessmen purchased the Conservatory from Lick's estate and donated it to the San Francisco Park Commission. Over the next two years, the Conservatory was erected in Golden Gate Park by the famed East Coast firm Lord and Burham. It opened to the public in 1879 and began a long and eventful career.