Category: Phipps Conservatory

  • Phipps Hall of Botany


    Tucked behind Phipps Conservatory, this grand little building houses an auditorium, some classrooms, and a huge portrait of Henry Phipps given by his friend Andrew Carnegie.

    Click on the picture to enlarge it.


    The delightful fountain in front is a recent installation, but looks like it belongs with the building.

  • Spring Flower Show at Phipps


    It must be spring, because Phipps Conservatory is full of daffodils, tulips, grape hyacinths, and tourists.

  • Hygeia


    In honor of the physicians who served in the First World War, Hygeia, goddess of health and proper sanitation, raises her torch in Schenley Park. Phipps Conservatory is in the background.

  • The Entrance to Phipps Conservatory


    For about a century, Phipps Conservatory, the gift of Andrew Carnegie’s friend Henry Phipps, belonged to the Ciry of Pittsburgh. After it was turned over to a private nonprofit group, Phipps started to grow and flourish like a tropical vine. This new entrance, opened a few years ago, is a perfect match for the splendid Victorian glasshouses behind it. Yet it is also unmistakably contemporary. This is a textbook example of architecture that is sympathetic to its surroundings without being slavishly imitative. (Not, old Pa Pitt hastens to add, that there is anything wrong with slavish imitation once in a while.)

  • Hebe Among the Orchids


    Hebe, Greek goddess of youth, cupbearer of Olympus, stands among the Phalaenopsis orchids in the Sunken Garden at Phipps Conservatory.


  • A Kodak Pony and a Perfect Day

    The Kodak Pony is a delightful camera. It’s cheap and rugged, but it takes very good pictures with its sharp Ektanar lens, and it leaves the photographer completely in control of the picture. It’s hard for today’s photographers to imagine how little automation you can get away with. Here’s what you do to take a picture with a Pony: Set the aperture (there’s no light meter, of course); set the shutter speed; set the focus (no rangefinder, so you have to estimate the distance); cock the shutter; push the shutter release; release the film lock; and wind for the next picture.

    So part of the reason I love the Pony is because I get to do everything myself. For the remainder of my argument, i offer these two pictures, taken yesterday on the grounds of Phipps Conservatory, and both showing the Cathedral of Learning in the distance.

  • Spring at Phipps

    The Spring Flower Show at Phipps Conservatory had a whimsically classical theme: Praxiteles by way of Salvador Dali.

  • Christmas in the Broderie

    The Broderie at Phipps Conservatory decorated for Christmas.
  • Ducks in the Sunken Garden

    The Sunken Garden at Phipps Conservatory during the Spring Flower Show.
  • Romanesque in Phipps


    A Romanesque capital in Phipps Conservatory, at the back of the palm house.