Center for Sustainable Landscapes – Phipps Conservatory

PROJECT: Center for Sustainable Landscapes
OWNER: Phipps/City of Pittsburgh
ARCHITECT: The Design Alliance
DATE: 2009 to Present
CONTRACTOR: Turner Construction
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Design Review
Consulting Services

The latest addition to the Phipps Conservatory campus is the Center for Sustainable Landscapes being constructed directly below the 2006 Tropical Forest Conservatory. This building incorporates many of the passive heating, cooling and ventilation designs found in traditional greenhouses. Roof vented atrium structure, operable sidewall vent sash and solar screen are a few of the numerous energy saving aspects of the building.


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Langley Hall Rooftop Greenhouse

PROJECT: Langley Hall Rooftop Greenhouse
OWNER: University of Pittsburgh
ARCHITECT: IDC, Architects
DATE: 2009 to Present
CONTRACTOR: Ludy Greenhouse Co.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Greenhouse and Systems Design
Consulting Services

New aluminum and glass greenhouse structure designed for rooftop location at University of Pittsburgh. The design includes two independent environmental zones with heating and chilled water cooling capabilities, HID growth lighting, automatic ventilation and shade/heat retention blanket systems and computerized environmental control systems.


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Green Acres Study Center Greenhouse

PROJECT: Green Acres Greenhouses
OWNER: Green Acres Foundation
DATE: 2010 to Present
CONTRACTOR: Renovation Services, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Structure Assessment
Consulting Services

This vast estate greenhouse complex was built and enlarged during the 1920’s and 1930’s and has components from both Lord and Burnham and Lutton Greenhouse companies. Essentially abandoned and semi-demolished during the last forty years, a complete renovation of the remaining greenhouse structures and head-house was scheduled in 2010. The current project includes complete new aluminum and glass glazing systems, mechanical and control systems, automated ventilation and shade/heat blanket systems and restored benching and walkways.


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The Brooklyn Waldorf School

PROJECT: Brooklyn Waldorf School Roof Garden
OWNER: Brooklyn Waldorf School
ARCHITECT: Rogers Marvel Architects
DATE: 2010 to Present
CONTRACTOR: Steadfast Development & Construction
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Structure Assessment
Construction Documents
Consulting Services

The greenhouse type skylight sits atop the fourth floor and was used as a contemplation garden by the nuns of the original school. The structure was built by the Lord and Burnham Company in 1929-30 and is an excellent example of their period steel and cast iron frame greenhouse. Elements include: cast iron sills, steel framework and operable wood ventilation sash around the complete perimeter. The area covered by this glass roof construction totals approximately 1,850 square feet surrounded on four sides by corridors and class rooms. The current project includes new aluminum and glass glazing system, automated ventilation, environmental controls and a shade/heat retention blanket system.


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Brucemore Estate Greenhouse

PROJECT: Brucemore Estate Greenhouse
OWNER: National Trust
ARCHITECT: Design Dynamics, Inc.
DATE: 2010 to Present
CONTRACTOR: Four Prong, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Structure Assessment
Construction Documents
Consulting Services

Built in 1915 by the Lord and Burnham Company, this classic estate greenhouse and head-house structure has survived time, weather, 1940’s additions and modifications, fire and site changes. The current program for restoration involves the removal of the 1940’s additions, complete restoration of the head-house and original greenhouse structure, new safety glazing, new mechanical and control systems, automation of the ventilation sash and installation of a new shade/heat energy retention blanket system. Restoration of the original exterior cold frame structures is also hoped to be included in this project.


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Phipps Conservatory – Palm Court Renovations

PROJECT: Phipps Conservatory
OWNER: City of Pittsburgh
DATE: 1992 to Present
CONTRACTOR: tbd
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Structure Assessment
Construction Documents
Consulting Services

Original wood and annealed glass in the sidewall glazing systems in the oldest section of structures at Phipps Conservatory had deteriorated to a point for the need of emergency stabilization in 2008. This work was followed by the replacement of the upper wood and glass vent sash with aluminum and safety glass and new operating equipment. The current project is to replace all of the vertical wood and glass components with new replicated aluminum extrusions and safety glass glazing to exact match the original configurations.


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Birmingham Botanical Garden

PROJECT: Birmingham Botanical Garden
OWNER: City of Birmingham, Alabama
DATE: December 2006 to Present
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Needs Assessment – 2006/07

This conservatory and production greenhouse complex was built by Lord and Burnham in 1963 and is a central feature of the 26 acre botanical garden complex. Having virtually no improvements or alterations for the past forty-four years the current administration, Friends of Birmingham Botanical Garden, have started a master-planning effort to restore the conservatory, reorganize the support facilities and restore and enlarge the production greenhouses.


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Harkness State Park Greenhouses

PROJECT: Harkness State Park Greenhouses
OWNER: State of Connecticut
DATE: 2003 to Present
ARCHITECT: Main Street Architects
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Needs Assessment and Master Plan

Harkness Estate greenhouses were a classic example of early 20th century large estate greenhouse complexes. The estate, now a state park property, has a fully restored main house and is starting the restoration of the greenhouses with the cooperation of the Friends of Harkness. The project will be completed in phases with the first phase focused on restoration of the headhouse, main power and mechanical systems and the show house. The steel frame work will be repaired and a new replicated aluminum glazing system will be installed.


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The Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens

PROJECT: Conservatory at Huntington Gardens
OWNER: The Huntington Library and Gardens
DATE: 1999 to 2002
ARCHITECT: Offenhauser & Associates
CONTRACTOR: Pozo Construction
GREENHOUSE CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Construction and Consulting Services

Based on the profile of the original Shade House structure on the Huntington Estate, this modern steel, aluminum and glass conservatory adapts traditional period conservatory design with a unique shape and new technology. The Conservatory has a one hundred foot wide dome central exhibition space and two connecting wings which house interactive educational displays. The conservatory has state of the art computerized environmental controls and one of the first earth tube supply air systems for passive cooling of a greenhouse environment in the country.


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Harvard Arboretum at Weld Hill

PROJECT: Harvard Arboretum
OWNER: Harvard University
DATE: 2010
ARCHITECT: Kling-Stubbins
CONTRACTOR: Lee-Kennedy Contractors
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Greenhouse and Systems Design
Consulting Services

Institutional research laboratories and greenhouses completed in 2010. Facility includes BL2&3 greenhouse compartments, chilled water cooling, deep well geothermal recovery heating, growth chambers and computerized environmental control systems.


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Cleveland Botanical Garden

PROJECT: Eleanor Armstrong Smith Conservatory
OWNER: Cleveland Botanical Garden
DATE: 2001-2003
ARCHITECT: Gund Partnership
CONTRACTOR: Donley’s
GREENHOUSE CONTRACTOR: Nexus Corp.

Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Glazing system design
Control systems consulting
Construction Inspections

The Cleveland Botanical Garden, not having a conservatory structure, embarked on a building project in 2000 to design a new 10,000 sq.ft. Conservatory space and a complete rehabilitation and expansion of 8,000 sq.ft. of their existing library and administration buildings. This sixty foot high contemporary rendition of a glass enclosed conservatory space now houses two fragile environments: the desert of Madagascar and the cloud forest of Costa Rica.


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Longwood Gardens

PROJECT: East Conservatory
OWNER: Longwood Gardens
DATE: 2003 to 2005
ENGINEER: Keast and Hood
CONTRACTOR: Tim O’Connell and Sons
GREENHOUSE GLAZING CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.

Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Structural steel inspections for East Conservatory and Display greenhouse projects
Replication castings design

Built in the style of the existing 1920’s Exhibition Hall and Orangerie glasshouses this new stainless steel and aluminum display hall replaced the 1960’s concrete domed structure in 2005. The numerous interconnected greenhouse structures that make up Longwood Gardens display gardens have been systematically rehabilitated to meet current overhead safety glazing standards and to lower the continual maintenance burden of older materials and construction.

The main Exhibition Hall and Orangerie were completely restored in 1996-1998.


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United States Botanic Garden

PROJECT: United States Botanic Garden
OWNER: United States Government
DATE: 1992 to Present
ARCHITECT: Architect of the Capitol
CONTRACTOR: Clark Construction
GREENHOUSE CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.

Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Energy audit for the Conservatory and Production Greenhouses 2008.
Consulting Services

Completed in the 1933 by The Bohn Aluminum Co. of Detroit and Lord and Burnham this was the earliest Conservatory structure in America using aluminum for both the roof structural frame and the glazing system components.

Unexpected corrosion in the structural aluminum frame over the years had progressed to a point of posing a serious safety hazard and the buildings were closed to the public and dismantled in 1992. A complete replacement of the upper structures, glazing systems, environmental control systems and rehabilitation of the masonry buildings was completed and reopened in 2001.


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Biltmore Estate Conservatory

PROJECT: Biltmore Estate Conservatory
OWNER: The Biltmore Estate House & Gardens
DATE: 1995 – 2002
CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Glasshouse Consultant
Construction Documents
Construction Oversight

Built by Lord and Burnham for Vanderbilt in 1895 and also refurbished by Lord and Burnham in
1957, the latest restoration of the Biltmore Estate Conservatory was completed in two phases –
the first involved rehabilitation of the masonry, steel structure, waterproofing, restoration of the
basement spaces into retail and work areas and installation of all new mechanical systems. The
second phase focused on re-glazing the facility and reproduction of the interior plant benches and
fixtures according to the original Richard Morris Hunt designs.


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Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

PROJECT: Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago
OWNER: Chicago Parks Department
DATE: June 2006 to Present
ARCHITECT: SFA, Cincinnati
CONTRACTOR: Burling Builders, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Survey –2005
Construction Documents

One of seven greenhouses of the 1908 Conservatory, the restoration program for the Sweet House involves replacement of the sidewall steel structure, repair and painting of the steel framework, new aluminum replicated glazing system, new wood sidewall sash and glazing, new automatic vent operating systems and new shade/heat retention system.


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Sibley Center at Callaway Gardens

PROJECT: Sibley Center at Callaway Gardens
OWNER: Callaway Gardens, Georgia
DATE: 2003
ARCHITECT: Heck, Burdeshaw, Johnson, Kidd MEP Systems Design and Clarke Architects
CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Glasshouse Consultant
Construction Documents
Construction Oversight

The Sibley Horticultural Center, built in the 1960’s, was originally designed with tensioned fabric roof “domes” in a square matrix for the entire roof covering. Due to age and ultra violet deterioration replacement of the roof system was necessary. The new design incorporated traditional lap glass glazing with 6:12 roof pitch aluminum frame. New mechanical systems, computerized environmental controls, high-pressure fog system and automatic shade systems were also part of the renovation.


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Stan Hywet Hall Conservatory

PROJECT: Stan Hywet Hall Conservatory
OWNER: Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens
DATE: 2005
ARCHITECT: Mark Gilles, Stan Hywet Hall
CONTRACTOR: Rough Bros. Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Glasshouse Design
Construction Documents
Systems Design

The original Palm House and support greenhouses at Stan Hywet Hall were demolished over thirty years ago and later a portion of the support greenhouses were rebuilt. This project involved recreating the Palm House plans and specifications from archive photographs, records and prints for a ground up replication as close as possible to the original structure. The project also included a rehabilitation of the existing production greenhouses into public space for collections, events, growing space and education greenhouses.


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Oldfields Estate Greenhouse at IMA

PROJECT: Oldfields Estate Greenhouse at IMA
OWNER: Indianapolis Museum of Art
DATE: April 2003 to Present
ARCHITECT: Simmons Associates
CONTRACTOR: Renovation Services, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Needs Assessment –2003/04
Construction Documents
Construction Administration

These greenhouses replaced the original 1912 greenhouses of the Landon Estate between 1933 and 1940 and have been in continuous operation for both the Eli Lilly ownership period and the current IMA House Museum and Gardens facility. The project program includes a complete restoration of the steel frame and glazing system, new mechanical and electrical systems, new environmental control system, restored plant benching, restored cold frames and replicated new entry vestibule.


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Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet

PROJECT: Bird Haven Greenhouse, Joliet
DATE: June 2004
ARCHITECT: Simmons Associates Architects
CONTRACTOR: O.W.Taylor, LLC
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Needs Assessment
Structural Engineering Survey
Glazing System, Mechanical Systems and Control Systems Design
Construction Documents and Construction Administration

Bird Haven Conservatory at Pilcher Park in Joliet Illinois is a 1929 Lord and Burnham conservatory and production range greenhouse complex. Three major greenhouses – Palm House, Growing House and Desert House, comprise the original conservatory space with 1939 production greenhouse additions and a 1963 Ickes-Braun Greenhouse Company addition now know as the Ron Dodd Show House.

This current construction effort was a complete restoration of the 1929 Lord and Burnham structures. This conservatory restoration included: aluminum extrusions to replicate the original wood roof glazing rafters, aluminum replicated ventilation sash, laminated lapped glass glazing system, replicated castings, recreation of the original vestibule and canopies, complete refinishing of the structural steel components and refurbishment of the original benching systems. A new computerized control system, high-pressure fog system, automatic shading system and complete automatic vent operating equipment were added to the complex.


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Smith College, Lyman Plant House

PROJECT: Smith College, Lyman Plant House
DATE: November 2001
ARCHITECT: Perry, Dean, Rogers & Partners
CONTRACTOR: A.R.Green & Son, Holyoke, MA
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
CAP Needs Assessment
Glazing System, Ventilation System and Control System Design
New Glasshouse Additions Design
Construction Documents and Construction Administration

The Botanical Garden of Smith College, Lyman Plant House, is a collection of Lord and Burnham greenhouse structures spanning the years from 1895 to 1985. All of the greenhouses are interconnected and form one multi-climate zone conservatory space with two research greenhouses and a student greenhouse attached.

This current construction effort was a complete restoration including additions to the offices and research lab areas. Greenhouse restoration included: aluminum extrusions to replicate the original wood roof glazing rafters, aluminum replicated ventilation sash, laminated lapped glass glazing system, replicated castings, recreation of the original ridge cresting, complete refinishing of the structural steel components and refurbishment of the original benching systems. A new computerized control system, high-pressure fog system, R.O. water system and complete automatic vent operating equipment were added to the complex.


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Matthaei Botanical Gardens

PROJECT: Matthaei Botanical Gardens
OWNER: University of Michigan
DATE: December 2005 to Present
ARCHITECT: U.of M., Dept. of Facilities Planning Construction Documents
CONTRACTOR: A.Z.Shmina, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Survey –2003
Needs Assessment – 2005

Built in 1964 by Ikes-Braun Greenhouse Company, this 15,000 square foot conservatory with adjoining production greenhouses was scheduled by the University for a rehabilitation and mechanical systems replacement. The program includes new laminated safety glazing for the roof structure, high performance coating for the steel structure, new automatic vent operators, shade/heat retention system, new ventilation system and new environmental control system.


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Dumbarton Oaks Greenhouse

PROJECT: Dumbarton Oaks Greenhouse
DATE: November 2004
ARCHITECT: Venturi, Scott Brown Associates
CONTRACTOR: Whiting-Turner, Inc.
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
Evaluation Assessment 2003
Specifications
Mechanical Systems and Control System Design
Glazing Systems Design

Dumbarton Oaks Greenhouse complex was built by the Wm. H. Lutton Company in 1921 for the Dumbarton Oaks Estate in Washington, D.C. This conservatory consists of two curved eave growing greenhouses flanking the Headhouse, two cold frames structures on the front elevation, a “Pit Greenhouse” and additional cold frame structures behind the main greenhouses on a lower level.

The current restoration is included as part of the construction of a new library structure being erected adjacent to the greenhouses. This restoration involves replacing all of the glazing systems on the various greenhouse structures, installing new heating systems, ventilation systems, computerized environmental controls, automatic shading systems and the addition of bulb cooler units.


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Phipps Conservatory, Victoria Room Renovations

PROJECT: Phipps Conservatory, Victoria Room Renovations
DATE: July 2003
ARCHITECT: Simmons Associates Architects
CONTRACTOR: O.W.Taylor, LLC
Montgomery Smith, Inc.
CAP Needs Assessments 2001 and 2003
Structural Engineering Survey
Glazing System and Ventilation Sash Design
Owner Representative for the City of Pittsburgh Historical Reviews
Construction Administration

Constructed by Lord and Burnham in 1892 the Victoria Room is one of thirteen interconnected glasshouses that comprise Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Last restored in 1984 with wood and annealed glass, the Victoria Room was in extremely poor condition and was the primary candidate from the 2001 CAP Assessment for complete restoration.

This restoration concentrated on the “Side Vent-line up” components including: aluminum extrusions to replicate the original wood roof glazing rafters, aluminum replicated ventilation sash, laminated lapped glass glazing system, replicated castings, recreation of the vestibule entry and ridge cresting, lead coated copper valleys, complete refinishing of the interior painted components and new automatic vent operating equipment and new copper down spouting.


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THE RECENT PAST – The New Orleans Botanical Gardens at City Park

 


“Most people miss great opportunities because they come dressed in overhauls and look like hard work.”   Thomas A. Edison
In 1996 Gen Trimble, president of the New Orleans Botanical Garden Society appointed member Harry Freiberg to head a committee to research the possibilities of renovating the existing greenhouse and constructing new conservatory structures to form a new Botanical Garden Conservatory including new collection spaces, event spaces, exhibit spaces, plaza areas and renovated greenhouses and gardens immediately around the Conservatory. Paul Soniat, Director of the Garden, and Harry Freiberg enlisted James Smith, conservatory consultant, to assemble a design team for the special task of designing the conversion of the existing simple greenhouse structure into a grand glasshouse enclosure – Phase One of the New Orleans Botanical Gardens’ Conservatory. By 2001 with the help of generous donors and with the special gift from the Azby Foundation and along with oversight and guidance from its managing director, Michael Liebaert, the first phase of new conservatory was opened to the public.

The Conservatory’s Central Dome

The “Dungeons” pit greenhouses

Headhouse of the Propagation Greenhouse

 


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THE ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Through generous donations, three other restoration projects on the WPA era garden and greenhouses have been accomplished in the immediate area around the Conservatory. The partially subterranean pit greenhouses, or “Dungeons” as they have been called locally, were restored in 2002 to return them back to their original working condition. The complete historic restoration of the propagation greenhouse, or “Stove House”, was completed in 2004 under the careful supervision of Michael Liebaert. The director of the Gardens, Paul Soniat, completed Garden Study open-air Education facility and the relocation and stabilization of the masonry “Shelter Houses” in 2000 in a master planning effort to start the rehabilitation of the Victory Garden and its cold-frame structures.

The Propagation Greenhouse Restored

The Shelter Houses


“Gardening is the slowest form of the performing arts.”   Mac Griswold

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THE PHASE TWO PROJECTS

The Plaza
Installation of the foundations and paver floor of the Atrium glass roofed structure. The completion of site work for utilities, grade corrections and drainage. The construction of the mechanical rooms that will be part of the future construction of the Atrium, greenhouse wings and the orchid pavilion.

The Atrium Building
The construction of the masonry and glass roofed atrium structure complete with mechanical systems for environmental control, lighting and exhibit/furnishing work. This building will also provide a new Visitor Entrance and Event Space.

The Glass Gardens, greenhouse wings
The construction of the greenhouse exhibit wings complete with mechanical systems for environmental control, lighting and exhibit/furnishing work. Exterior landscape lighting will probably happen during this period.

The Orchid Pavilion
This outdoor area will display sculptures historically related to the Garden with pathways and seating areas.

In Memory of

Harry Freiberg, Jr.

Dedicated friend to the Garden and fiery catalyst for the

beginnings of all of the restoration work in 1998.

Thanks Harry!


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NEW WINDOW TO THE WORLD: A Glass Conservatory Redefines the Meaning of Nature Appreciation



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