From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi Statement In Celebration of the Re-Opening of the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

December 8, 2003

"Mr. Speaker, 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 for decades.

"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."




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