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3.24.2014

The Beauty of Phipps Conservatory: Spring Flower Show Part I

Let me start by saying that one of my favorite places is Phipps Conservatory. There is nothing like walking through beautiful gardens. I love going here and to Longwood Gardens on the eastern side of the state. 
The entrance dome is a relatively recent addition. The complex has been sprawling quite a bit in recent years, with several additions opening in the last decade. The most recent addition, the Center for Sustainable Landscapes, was completed in this last year. We will look more in depth at that later. It is quite stunning and a great look at our present and future in energy.

On our way to Phipps we saw our first flowers for the season. The weather was truly spectacular on Saturday.

I consider Phipps to be the crossroads between two of the three great Oakland universities, the University of Pittsburgh, as depicted by the large Cathedral of Learning skyscraper just left of center, and Carnegie Mellon University, seen with the complex on the right. Oakland is such a wonderful center of learning between the universities, the Carnegie Museums and Library, the hospitals, and Phipps Conservatory that we are about to enter. Phipps takes my breath away every time I visit it. We have visited countless times but it is different every time between the changes they make for the seasons and the growth of the plants. 
The entryway is simply spectacular. Above is the dome from the outside and below is the view from inside and the spectacular glasswork centerpiece that hangs from the center. 
At the original entrance you can find this historic landmark plaque. Similar to the other Oakland buildings we have researched, this beautiful landmark dates back to the 1890s. 1893 to be exact. The Victorian era complex was given National Register of Historic Places status in 1976. In 1893 this beautiful complex was built by Henry Phipps, a man who dabbled in Real Estate and helped to create Carnegie Steel. He wanted to educate and entertain the folks of Pittsburgh through housing different plant species from around the globe such as Palms, Succulents, and others. His vision has lived on for over 120 years. He hired Lord and Burnham, a company from Buffalo, New York that was noted for their work on greenhouses, to create the elaborate and stunning steel and glass work structure.
The Spring Flower Show opened this weekend and boy was it amazing. There is nothing like the smell of freshly blooming Hyacinths
The Spring Flower Show's theme this year is Music.
The complex is a mix between the beauty of nature and the beauty of what people can create. You are constantly reminded of that with the beautiful steel and glass work that you see when you look up. I noticed that I took quite a few close up shots to things, which is not characteristic of me. I am always enamored by the little details of things when I am in this wonderful place.
Did I say the spring flowers were truly wonderful yet? My goodness. This room in particular smelled just wonderful.
 Lemon!
 Brit sitting on the throne
No, this was not a "Back to the Future" type situation with Brit disappearing, panoramic shots do not work too well when you have moving subjects :-). This room was really pretty cool. 
Now I will inundate you with beautiful orchid shots!







 I love the way things look when the sun is at that angle. This structure is visually stunning in every way.
Tomorrow we will continue part two of our adventure through Phipps, including the new Center for Sustainable Landscapes.

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