Oak Park’s only tropical zone is open again after months under the knife.
Lead paint’s been lifted from all the walls of the 80-year-old Conservatory building. The tropical room was the last of the three “climate zones” to undergo restoration.
The Park District of Oak Park started stripping and restoring the lead-ladened rooms in 2002, moving from the fern room to the desert room before tackling the tropical room in June.
Because the tropical room serves as a pass-through to the desert room, both were closed all summer — leaving only the fern room open to the public. The conservatory spruced up the ferns with a fairy exhibit, inspired by two local girls, to maximize the space.
The plants, fish and birds moved back into the tropics, and the room re-opened to the public on Oct. 30.
The conservatory, 615 Garfield Street, is free to the public.