For Immediate Release: Tues., Aug. 14

Contact: Julie LaBar | Director of Marketing and Communications
412/638-6008 ǀ jlabar@phipps.conservatory.org

The Ogee Makes Its Return to Phipps Conservatory!
See history in the making with dramatic ogee addition now underway in major Palm Court glasshouse renovation

Pittsburgh, PA — After over 80 years, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens marks an important milestone this week as construction crews take critical steps to return the historic ogee crest structure to the exterior of Palm Court, restoring this crowning architectural feature to the Pittsburgh glasshouse for the first time since 1937.  

The term “ogee” describes the distinctive architectural molding and arch curve formation that will top the glasshouse, returning its stunning skyline profile to its original design. Seven aluminum trusses form the ogee, which will be filled in with aluminum ribbing and over 700 panes of glass. In the coming weeks, decorative fleur-de-lis cresting and towering 8-foot tall finials characteristic of the original 1893 Lord & Burnham design will be added to the structure. Seeing the ogee take shape now provides a significant, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to experience history in the making at Phipps.

The Palm Court restoration is part of Phipps’ 125th anniversary commemoration, protecting and sustaining its treasured beauty for future generations. Palm Court is part of the original nine-room glasshouse established in 1893 and is located at the heart of the conservatory. This architectural gem is the first room that guests experience at Phipps, inspiring them with breathtaking plants, floral displays, special exhibits and renowned collections. 

Guests can help to preserve Phipps’ legacy by sponsoring a pane of glass in Palm Court, including those located in the iconic ogee, which has a limited number of coveted glass panes available. Panes of glass can be purchased on Phipps’ newly launched interactive site — phipps.conservatory.org/restore — by phone at 412/622-6915, ext. 6054, or in person at the conservatory, with glass panes beginning at a gift of $100. Supporters will receive a frameable printed certificate with pane coordinates for their selected section, making this a memorable gift or tribute. Donors will be acknowledged through a special recognition display in Palm Court. 

Phipps remains open throughout this restoration process and guests are encouraged to see the exciting progress by visiting every day from 9:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. or until 10 p.m. on Fridays. Admission is $17.95 for adults, $16.95 for seniors and students and $11.95 for children (2 – 18). Members and kids under 2 enter free. More information is available at phipps.conservatory.org

Members of the media are invited to schedule an interview, arrange a tour or view additional photos in Phipps’ restoration gallery by contacting Julie LaBar, director of marketing and communications, at jlabar@phipps.conservatory.org.

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About Phipps: Founded in 1893, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in Pittsburgh, PA is a green leader among public gardens with a mission to inspire and educate all with the beauty and importance of plants; to advance sustainability and promote human and environmental well-being through action and research; and to celebrate its historic glasshouse. Phipps commemorates its 125th anniversary throughout 2018, celebrating its historic past, vibrant present and exciting future ahead — including inspiring seasonal flower shows, community events, public programs and groundbreaking green innovation. Learn more at phipps.conservatory.org.