Lost and Found features brief profiles of historic landmarks and structures, one lost and one saved.


Conceived and funded by industrialist and philanthropist Henry Phipps (1839-1930), the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park opened, without ceremony, in December 1893. The original complex – which cost more than one hundred thousand dollars – was designed and erected by Lord and Burnham of Irving­ton-on-the-Hudson, New York, a firm noted for its construction of greenhouses. Upon its completion, the Phipps Conserva­tory was the largest of its kind in the United States. Residents and visitors were awed by the sprawling building. Many were particularly impressed with the original entrance, built in an imposing Richardsonian Roman­esque architectural style. This monumental entrance was demolished in the late 1960s to “modernize” the structure.



The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania was created in 1887 by siblings John and Lydia Morris, who traveled around the world to collect rare plants for their summer estate in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. Built on the grounds in 1899 under the guidance of John Morris, the Dorrance H. Hamilton Fernery – named in honor of the benefactor who made possible its meticulous restoration in 1994 – is the only remaining free-standing Victorian era conservatory in North America constructed specifically to exhibit tropical fems. This elegant fernery, an outstanding example of late nineteenth century horticultural architecture, houses five hundred varieties of ferns, a cave, grotto, rustic bridge, waterfalls, and meandering stone paths.