Event—Adult Education

Tour and History of Garfield Park Conservatory

Cost and Registration Information

Early Registration Price (by September 1): $100
Regular Price (after September 1): $110

Register Online

Seminar Description

The Garfield Park Conservatory on the West Side of Chicago was the concept of Prairie School landscape architect Jens Jensen. At the time of its completion in 1908, the conservatory was considered revolutionary for the presentation of the plant collection and themed rooms.

Some have suggested the Fern Room alone deserves a place at the Art Institute for its beautiful design. This class will focus on the history of the conservatory and Garfield Park, as well as its current and future usage. A lecture and behind-the-scenes tour of Garfield Park Conservatory, its surrounding gardens, and production greenhouses will be featured. Two sessions.

John Rafetto (BA in landscape architecture, University of Illinois Urbana; MA in environmental studies, Northeastern Illinois University) is a retired horticulturist and landscape designer for Garfield Park and Lincoln Park Conservatories.

Materials List


  • There are no required materials for this class.


  • Julia Bachrach and Jo Ann Nathan. Inspired by Nature: The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago's West Side. (The Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance, 2007.) ISBN-13: 978-0979412509.

First Reading:

  • Inspired by Nature is recommended reading for the first class.

This class is part of the Newberry’s Adult Education Seminars Program. Learn more about our registration procedures.