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Garfield Park Conservatory Seeks Donations For Glass Repair

Damage to the Fern Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory. (Credit: Garfield Park Conservatory)

Damage to the Fern Room at the Garfield Park Conservatory. (Credit: Garfield Park Conservatory)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — The June 30 hailstorm that destroyed a portion of the Garfield Park Conservatory has prompted a fundraising drive to sustain the institution until insurance kicks in.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports, the storm hit late in the evening, and when it was over, more than half the glass panes in the historic Fern Room, Show House, and 10 greenhouses were broken.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Mary Frances Bragiel reports

Chicago Park District director of conservatories Mary Eysenbach says the cleanup has been difficult, and is not complete just yet.

“They had to take every single pane of glass out by hand, and then they had to transport it to dumpsters,” she said.

In all, 23,000 glass panes were destroyed in the storm, and much of the conservatory remains closed. Only areas such as the Palm Room and Horticulture Hall remain open because they had been updated relatively recently with laminated glass that was not broken by the hail storm.

Until the damage assessment is finished, officials say insurance will not cover the devastation.

Instead, the conservatory is asking for financial donations from the public. If you would like to lend a financial hand to the conservatory, click here.