In 2008 Bush Conservatory, the second oldest extant conservatory west of the Rockies was in danger of being lost to the ravages of time and had to be closed to the public. The steel structure, glass superstructure and brick foundation were seriously deteriorated and urgently in need of restoration. Plastic sheeting, cardboard and duct tape precariously kept our history intact.
The Friends of Bush Gardens took up the challenge of raising the necessary funds which allowed the City of Salem to proceed with the project. In May of 2011, the plants were returned from their temporary quarters in the Deepwood greenhouse and a fully restored Bush Conservatory reopened to the public. For more history and information about the actual restoration process, see History of the Bush Conservatory.
The conservatory is an integral part of the Bush family story, and a restored structure enhances the Bush legacy. The conservatory is a testament to a father’s love for his family and emblematic of the Victorian lifestyle of people of means. A restored conservatory ensures that future generations can experience the serene tranquility of the conservatory, as well as becoming a place for education and outreach, carrying the Bush family story into the 21st century.