I grew up in St. Paul, MN, one of the lucky urban areas in the United States that adorns a public conservatory. The Conservatory sits like a crown jewel in Como Park, overlooking Como Lake and sits adjacent to the public zoo.
Como Park is a very special place to us Minnesotans and even more magical viewing though an eyes of a child. I vividly recall my dad taking us kids to the conservatory on cold winter days when one longed for the splendors of spring and summer and the outside weather was biting and bitter.
The sound of the birds taking refuge in the glorious glass building, the smell of the earth, the humidity, the plants. It touched my scenes and my soul more than I would ever know as a child. The conservatory offered up a good alternative to a vacation and a brief rest from what seemed an endless winter’s grip.
I retained my love of plants and biology, and went on to the University of Minnesota to gain a science degree, of which I taught for several years before going to work in the landscape industry.
In 1988 a customer of mine asked if I would be interested in installing a wood conservatory she had purchased from England. From that point on I was hooked. I went to work for various companies that were building conservatories and was able to gain experience in the design and installation of nearly every product that was offered to the market. Over time my son, Mike, has joined on and asked the question why we didn’t set out on our own and build the best conservatory available today.
So many years ago I didn’t realize the impact Como Park Conservatory has made on me. I am grateful and lucky to share the splendor of the Conservatory with my own children.