Why is this building significant?
This Italian Renaissance-style complex of greenhouses serves as an architectural grace note within the New York Botanical Garden. The greenhouses were inspired by Joseph Paxton’s Crystal Palace, built in London’s Hyde Park in 1851, and by those of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, outside of London. At the time of its completion, the technologically innovative conservatory, incorporating cast iron, steel, and glass, played an important role in the City’s post-Civil War transformation from an economically powerful, but architecturally rather undistinguished city, to a place of cultural refinement.
What did the New York Landmarks Conservancy do?
Understanding the critical impact that the surrounding built environment can exert on a designated landmark, we joined with the New York Botanical Garden in a successful fight to demand that Fordham University remove a radio tower that it had erected on its Rose Hill campus, adjacent to the garden. The tower’s replacement with an antenna built atop an apartment building a mile away enhanced the public’s appreciation of the park’s legally protected, but still vulnerable, green space.