Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780979412509 Published November 2007

Inspired by Nature

The Garfield Park Conservatory and Chicago's West Side

Julia S. Bachrach and Jo Ann Nathan

Inspired by Nature
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Julia S. Bachrach and Jo Ann Nathan

Distributed for Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance

With a Foreword by Alex Kotlowitz
160 pages | 30 color plates, 120 halftones | 10 x 8
Paper $25.00 ISBN: 9780979412509 Published November 2007
One of the nation’s most stunning and intriguing botanical havens, the Garfield Park Conservatory celebrates its one-hundredth anniversary in 2008. Often referred to as “landscape art under glass,” Jens Jensen’s revolutionary design is a poetic interpretation of his beloved Midwestern landscape as it was in prehistoric times. The tropical plantings, water features and stonework were in shocking contrast to the showy displays of typical Victorian hothouses, and his Conservatory quickly became one of the region’s most captivating attractions. 
The Conservatory is at the center of a larger story: how nature, urban design, and horticulture helped to shape one of Chicago’s most interesting neighborhoods.  As early as the 1870s, architect and engineer William Le Baron Jenney began the verdant tradition of Chicago’s West Side by designing its seminal park and boulevard system.  For more than a century, ideas and visions of nature have influenced the development of Garfield Park, its magnificent conservatory, and the surrounding West Side community.  Today gardening and the greening movement are a catalyst for reviving this vital part of Chicago.
Published in honor of the centennial, Inspired by Nature blossoms into a living history that looks to the future, and covers everything from the history of the conservatory and Garfield Park to the revival of the surrounding community.  This fascinating and comprehensive volume includes historical essays, archival photography and plans, as well as contemporary color photography by Brook Collins.  Inspired by Nature also features vignettes by Chicago Public School students, who write about their experiences as members of the Garfield Park Community.  A reflection of the passionate interest and partnerships behind the Garfield Park revival, as well as a celebration of nature’s important role in people’s lives, Inspired by Nature is an essential publication for anyone with an interest in Chicago history, urban parks and communities, and the botanic splendor of the Garfield Park Conservatory.
Beth Botts | Chicago Gardener
"You really need a gift for a Chicago gardener? . . . See if your local bookstore has "Inspired by Nature" . . . . It's a fascinating history of the 100-year-old horticultural landmark, designed by Jens Jensen, its evolution and that of the community around it. It would be a good present for anyone with an interest in Chicago history too."
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