Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Jewel Of Como

Friday March 12, 2010

There is still a bit of winter left to curl up with a good book. ‘Jewel of Como, The History of the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory’ by Leigh Roethke and Bonnie Blodgett was published last September and recently nominated as one of four finalists in the 22nd Minnesota Book Awards, Minnesota category. Winners will be announced on April 17.

This unique narrative chronicles the early city parks and Victorian era glasshouses in Europe & North America, inspiring a deeper appreciation for those first conservatories still in operation from the late 1800’s – early 1900’s. Gardens or plant collections under glass in the northern latitudes enjoy a special appeal, and the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory rocks steady during the long winter season. An iconic Saint Paul destination since the doors first opened on Sunday, November 7, 1915, the conservatory has connected with millions of visitors through family events, art, photography, educational programs and in fulfillment of that intrinsic emotional need for beauty.

Photographs from the 1800’s to the present day highlight the people, plants, and quirky moments marking the passage of time. “Jewel of Como” will acquaint you with some of the early conservatory supporters to the more recent contribution from the Donald McNeely family in honor of Marjorie McNeely. The Marjorie McNeely Conservatory, Parks Superintendent Frederick Nussbaumer’s grandest proposal for Como Park in 1913, has a history to tell and a future to share with generations to come.