Reopening celebration planned for Belle Isle conservatory following $2.5M restoration

Posted at 2:20 PM, Aug 15, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-15 14:20:49-04

A reopening celebration is scheduled at the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Detroit's Belle Isle island park.

The Belle Isle Conservancy and Michigan Department of Natural Resources say the event is Thursday and repairs made to the conservatory are part of the island's long-term restoration plans.

The conservatory was closed for 10 months. Officials say decades of water damage had severely compromised the original 21-foot (6-meter) steel trusses in the building's lower dome that supported the conservatory's 85-foot (26-meter) upper dome. Original trusses from 1904 have been replaced with galvanized steel.

DNR Parks and Recreation funds made up $1.5 million of the $2.5 million project. The other $1 million came from a grant from a Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation grant.

Engineering for second-phase repairs is underway.