Just in time for summer visitors, Belle Isle’s Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory reopened June 19, after being closed for structural renovations for several months.
The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is an exotic and rare collection of plants from around the world and, at 115 years old, it is the oldest continually-running conservatory in the United States. It’s five “Houses” showcase tropical trees and palms, succulents and cacti, ferns, flowering plants, and fruit-bearing plants.
The building, designed by renowned Detroit architect Albert Kahn, originally opened in 1904 and occupies a 13-acre parcel of land that includes the formal gardens and Lily Pond. The last major renovations were done in 1949 and, in 1955, the Conservatory was dedicated to Anna Scripps Whitcomb who donated her 600 plant orchid collection to the City of Detroit.