Gaiser Conservatory

Manito Park Tour - Story 12

The original greenhouse was on the corner of 18th and Grand until 1912, when it was relocated to its current location. It was renovated in 1974 in anticipation of the World Expo, and the central dome was added in 1988. The greenhouse served many purposes in the early days of the park with its most important function growing seedlings and storing plants and tools for the park. During the long Spokane winters the greenhouse was heated with coal.

Once the City of Spokane acquired Manito Park in 1904, everyone wanted to give his or her opinion on what should be planted and how the park should look. A letter was given to the acting park board suggesting a reward be given to the landscaper who came up with the most reasonable plan for the land at Manito. Though this never happened, it did prompt the hiring of the Olmsted brothers, world famous landscape architects, who contrary to popular belief did not design the park, but just gave recommendations.

Prior to 1974 the greenhouse was off limits to visitors of the park except during special occasions like Christmas and Easter. During the 1974 World Expo people were allowed inside the greenhouse for the first time to view special floral displays. Currently the Conservatory acts as both a small indoor botanical garden and as a greenhouse for the park. Visitors may enjoy the conservatory during all seasons with a rotating display of succulents, desert plants, orchids, and flowers.

Images

Greenhouse ca. 1930z

Greenhouse ca. 1930z

Image from the Manito Park History Folder, Spokane Parks and Recreation Department Files, Spokane City Hall, 5th Floor, Spokane, WA. | Source: Manito Park History Folder, Spokane Parks and Recreation Department Files, Spokane City Hall, 5th Floor, Spokane, WA View File Details Page

Flowers in the Greenhouse

Flowers in the Greenhouse

Image courtesy of the Tony and Suzanne Bamonte Collection, Spokane, WA. View File Details Page

General Plan of Park System 1913

General Plan of Park System 1913

Image taken by Tracy L. Rebstock from map at the Joel E. Ferris Research Library and Archives at the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane, WA. | Source: Spokane Parks and Recreation Department, Report of the Board of Park Commissioners (reprint) Tornado Creek Publications, Spokane, WA 2007 View File Details Page

Part of a tool list 1904 Manito Park

Part of a tool list 1904 Manito Park

Image taken by Tracy L. Rebstock from the City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Papers at the Eastern Regional Branch of the Washington State Archives, Cheney, WA. | Source: Eastern Washington State Archives, EWU Archives City of Spokane Parks and Recreation Department Box 2 of 39, Item 2 View File Details Page

Audio

Gaiser Conservatory - Audio

Narration from files at the Northwest Room, Spokane Public Library, Spokane, WA and files at the City of Spokane's Park and Recreation Department, Spokane, WA. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tracy L. Rebstock, “Gaiser Conservatory,” Spokane Historical, accessed June 25, 2017, http://spokanehistorical.org/items/show/66.

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