We are very proud of the beauty, history, and architectural uniqueness of our greenhouses. Their story spans from a beginning in the mid 1800’s. They are original Lord and Burnham manufactured masterpieces.
The Palm House portion of the structures is elegantly domed thus allowing for the growth of Palm and Citrus trees. This is the original piece and it was originally located at the Conyngham family’s home along the Susquehanna River where the Dorothy Dickson Darte Center at Wilkes University presently exists. It was constructed between 1820 and 1870 and moved to the farm in 1881. In the center of its floor existed a water filled “reflecting pool” that held 18 inches of water that reflected the dome and night sky! We have been told that there are fewer than 6 of these original domes remaining in existence.
The entrance for the facility is located at the “Head House” or “Hut” and includes wanes-coated building with two bathrooms. When you visit our greenhouses you will see the metal arm to the right of the doorway. This arm was used to aid in the unloading of coal from carts. Recently, the “Hut” was used for flower potting and retail purposes. And in 2006, Leadership Wilkes-Barre restored its exterior.
Passing through the “Hut” you will notice the narrow wings that were once “Orchid Rooms.” They originally grew cucumbers! The “wings” branch off on both sides. Flowers were grown along with vegetables throughout the decades. During World War II, flowers and vegetables were sent daily via train from here to the Conyngham’s home in New York City.
From June 2010 to May 2011the Greenhouses were being restored. Each piece of glass was removed and cleaned or replaced. The medal frame was scraped and painted. The Cyprus wood that is sandwiched between the metal and glass was repaired, cleaned and painted. We are presently in the process of installing a wood fired heating system which will be functional by this coming winter.