Statement In Celebration of the Re-Opening of the San Francisco
Conservatory of Flowers
I was very pleased to be present at the grand re-opening of the
San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers. The Conservatory is considered
by many to be the jewel of Golden Gate Park and the City of San
Francisco. It is a monument to biodiversity, renewal, and beauty.
"Congratulations to all those who joined forces in the fight
to restore our Conservatory: John Murray, President of San Francisco
Recreation & Parks Commission; Scott Medbury, Director of the
Conservatory; Rebecca Green, President of Friends of Recreation
& Parks; and Elizabeth Goldstein, General Manager of Recreation
& Parks. Thank you for your vision and your leadership. The
people of San Francisco, future generations of San Franciscans and
visitors alike, owe you a great debt of gratitude.
"I would like to take this opportunity to commend Richard Goldman,
one of San Francisco's most generous citizens. His support of our
City and our environment is immeasurable. His tremendous contribution
to the Conservatory in honor of his late wife, Rhoda, led the way.
Many other extremely generous families followed; the Madeleine Haas
Russell family and the Fisher, Friend and Taube families. These
families have graciously supported so many of San Francisco's treasures
"This grand undertaking could never have been realized without
the leadership of our Mayor, Willie Brown. This is yet another project
marked by excellence, effectiveness, and success. It is fitting
that this extensive project was completed under his watchful eye.
Mayor Brown raised the visibility of the project to a national level
and used his unique abilities to develop private public partnerships.
"An army of volunteers worked non-stop since the devastating
windstorm of 1995 to make this day happen. The 124 year old conservatory
was thought to have sustained irreparable damage. Of the $25 million
needed for this massive rehabilitation, $15 million came from individual
donations. The prospect of the Conservatory's imminent destruction
was unthinkable to the people of San Francisco. They had the wisdom
to know that its beauty could never be rivaled or replicated. They
were stubborn and unrelenting in their demand that we preserve this
architectural masterpiece. Because of their labor of love, we once
again can view the exquisite beauty outside and experience the lush
splendor within. Their talent, commitment and dedication to this
magnificent project honors our patron saint, St. Francis, honors
nature, and honors God's creation.
"Today we can once more enjoy the stunning high altitude orchids,
the giant cycads, and the rest of the 1,500 species of plants from
over 50 countries. In addition to the tropical paradise that we
all remember, there are new displays to inspire visitors to appreciate
and conserve our planet's extraordinary biodiversity.
"San Francisco is proud to be the home of the oldest glass
and wood conservatory in the United States. It is a place of exquisite
and intoxicating beauty. It is a spiritual place. We are all very
fortunate to be able to enjoy its magic again."