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Major Belle Isle Park conservatory renovations start next month

Park closing portions of gas and steel structure

Belle Isle Conservatory (Dave Bartkowiak Jr./WDIV)
Belle Isle Conservatory (Dave Bartkowiak Jr./WDIV)

DETROIT – The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory in Belle Isle Park is set to undergo a $1.9 million renovation project, starting in October. The scheduled work is critical to help preserve the nation’s oldest continually running aquarium and conservatory facility, one of the most significant historic structures on the island. 

The scope of work this winter will include replacing the first 21 feet of the steel trusses in the conservatory dome.

Construction on this lower portion (or first 21 feet) of the conservatory dome will begin Oct. 1 and should be completed in April 2019. During this time, the conservatory dome will be closed to ensure public safety; however, the north and south wings and the show house will remain open to visitors Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors will be able to access the building through the lily pond garden entrance. Reservations for private events will not be available until May 2019.

Belle Isle Park attracts more than 4 million people a year and is a true historic icon and recreational asset for Detroit residents and visitors. Thousands of visitors seek out the conservatory to view and enjoy specimen plants and trees from around the world.