Glass rained on succulents after a light pole fell into the desert room of the Oak Park Conservatory. After making too wide of a turn onto Garfield Street, a southbound semi-truck traveling down East Avenue hit the light pole, causing it to collide with the slanted ceiling of the green house at about 4:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, according to conservatory director Patti Staley. 

“We are still assessing damage,” said Staley. “At this point, we’re still handling clean up, but it’s extensive.” The conservatory is still counting just how many windows were broken. 

“Compared to the whole conservatory, it’s reparable from what we see, but we haven’t done a full inspection yet,” she said. “We’re still in clean-up mode. A lot of glass!”

The conservatory is closed Mondays, so no one was in the facility at the time of the crash. Staley is unsure if the driver was injured. An Oak Park police officer at the scene of the incident said that he could not disclose whether or not the driver was cited. 

The conservatory opened as usual Tuesday morning. The other show rooms and the outside gardens are open to the public, but the desert room will be closed off until it is secure. 

Fall is the conservatory’s busy season, but scheduled events will not be impacted during repairs. The Fall Harvest Market, which began last week, will remain open. The conservatory is also going ahead with its Uncorked event this Friday and Fall Fest on Sunday. 

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