Saturday, August 4, 2012

Cover: Fuqua Conservatory

The Dorthy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory opened in 1989 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden to great fanfare. It was made possible by a gift from prominent Atlanta businessman, J.B. Fuqua.

Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory
Atlanta Botanical Garden
As the story goes, Mr. Fuqua approached the Garden's executive director, at the time that was Ann Crammond, and asked what would put the Atlanta Botanical Garden "on the map." Ms. Crammond's immediate answer was "A conservatory!"

Mr. Fuqua proposed a $3 million gift. After exploring other conservatories, it was determined that $3 million would be enough to construct a conservatory, but it would be one of the smallest in the country. Mr. Fuqua very generously increased his gift to $5.5 million dollars!

The Fuqua Conservatory has 16,000 square feet of display area and consists of several spaces, including:
  • Conservatory Lobby
  • Orangerie
  • Special Exhibits Room
  • Desert House
  • Wet Tropical House (Tropical House and Tropical Rotunda)
Residents of the Conservatory include:
  • frogs (Frog Feeding at 11a.m. on Saturdays!)
  • a Dragon Snapping Turtle
  • a blue Gecko
  • a rather domesticated family of Quail
  • Salamanders
  • and various others
Visitors who attend Cocktails in the Garden or Garden Lights have the unique opportunity to hear something daytime visitors never do. While during any visit you can hear the myriad of creatures contributing a sensory experience in the way of sound, at night, when the sun goes down, the volume goes way up! So, when you're there for an evening event, be sure to take a stroll through the Conservatory.

The Conservatory is a must-see, must-experience during any visit to the Garden. And if you'd like to see Dorothy herself, there's a gorgeous portrait of here just inside the Orchid Center as you enter from the Edible Garden.

This photograph was taken from inside the Crape Myrtle Allee. In the foreground is the Promenade Fountain and Howell Plaza; in the middle ground is the Great Lawn—sight of concerts, galas, and Tai Chi classes; and the Conservatory in the background, with a bit of Atlanta's skyline peeking over the top.

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