The John F. Wolfe Palm House and connecting Dorothy M. Davis Showhouse are the oldest portions of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The design of this grand Victorian-style glass greenhouse, built in 1895, was influenced by the success of Chicago’s World Fair and Columbian Exposition in 1893 and inspired by the City Beautiful movement.
The Palm House highlights 43 species of palms from around the world, some of which are considered endangered and threatened in the wild. A must-see when touring the Palm House is the Ficus lyrata, or Fiddle-leaf Fig. It’s one of the original trees planted in the Palm House.
The formal, tropical ambiance of this Victorian structure makes it a popular site for weddings and social gatherings. The Palm House is closed on select dates for private events.