Top 20 Seattle attractions

Volunteer Park Conservatory

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is a stunning Victorian glasshouse, located in the Seattle neighborhood of Capitol Hill.

Take a self-guided tour through this ornate glasshouse at the north end of Volunteer Park in Seattle, constructed in 1912.

Volunteer Park is one of Seattle's favorite public spaces, with superb views of the city skyline and Space Needle from a reservoir, and the excellent Asian Art Museum. There's also rolling lawns and gardens for relaxation.   

The Volunteer Park Conservatory is located at 1400 E Galer Street, Seattle, WA 98112.  Check hours & admission.

10 things to know about the Volunteer Park Conservatory

1. The Volunteer Park Conservatory was based on London's magnificent Crystal Palace, built in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition in 1851.

2. It was constructed at a total cost of $20,000 in 1912, from a prefab kit purchased from the Hitchings Brothers in New York.

3. The only original feature from 1912 is the beautiful stained glass peacock lunette window above the entrance vestibule, "Homage in Green". 

4. The original arched roof was constructed from Southern swamp cyprus, but was replaced by aluminium in the 1990s.  A chalky whitewash is applied to the roof in summer to block out the harsh rays.

5. You can explore five temperate houses at the Volunteer Park Conservatory; the Cactus House, Palm House, Fern House, Seasonal House, and Bromeliad House. Check the Fern House for carnivorous plants like Venus Fly Traps.

6. The average temperature inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory is 72 degrees. The humidity inside the Volunteer Park Conservatory is the perfect escape on a cold Seattle day, and is managed by a computer controlled system. 

7. The adjacent Palm House Gift Shop is stocked with rare plants and soil samples.

8. The Volunteer Park Conservatory is located in Volunteer Park, also home to the Seattle Asian Art Museum. It has expansive lawns perfect for summer picnics, a splashpad for kids, and a water tower with fabulous views.

9. If you're feeling energetic, climb the 160-step to the observation deck in the historic water tower at Volunteer Park.

10. After visiting Volunteer Park, stop by the Volunteer Park Cafe (1501 17th Ave E, Seattle) for coffee and delicious meals.

Know before you go

  • Hours & Entrance Fees: Check here.  
  • Address: Volunteer Park, 1400 E Galer Street, Seattle, WA 98112.

Other beautiful Seattle Gardens to visit

If you love Seattle gardens, plan a visit to the Kubota Garden and Lakewolds Gardens, just south of the city.  The Seattle Japanese Garden is also superb.

More Parks & Nature in Seattle

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