Conservatory Craftsmen

Conservatory Craftsmen Is Restoring Historic Greenhouses at Queens County Farm Museum


Minneapolis, MN -- (SBWIRE) -- 06/14/2016 -- Conservatory Craftsmen, a Minnesota-based company builds custom-designed conservatories. Recently the company was commissioned with a very unique assignment. Conservatory Craftsmen is undertaking the expansive project of restoring three greenhouses at the Queens County Farm in Floral Park, Queens, NY.

The 100-year old greenhouses are in rough shape. Panes of glass are missing or broken. The mechanisms used to open the windows to regulate temperatures are no longer working. The wooden parts are rotting from old age.

If the project simply called for replacing the greenhouses, the task would be considerably simpler. However, the park board has committed to authentically restoring the structures. That means that the Conservatory Craftsmen crew is in the process of removing the old sheets of glass and the mechanical metal structure that holds the greenhouses together. These original materials will be restored after final dismantling of the greenhouses. All the pieces of metal with architectural detail are being catalogued and restored to be re-installed in the new structures.

Conservatory Craftsmen is also replacing the rotted wooden components with Accoya, a newly developed, non-toxic and eco-friendly, treated wood that's guaranteed not to rot for a minimum of 50 years in above ground applications.

The Queens County Farm Museum dates back to 1697 and occupies a 47-acre parcel that is the longest continuously farmed property in New York State. The greenhouses were built 100 years ago and most recently renovated 60 years ago.

The greenhouses are not in use at this time, but when they are restored, they will be utilized for garden plants, flowers and herb seedlings. Queens County Farm will be able to offer more varieties of vegetables to residents of nearby neighborhoods who have little space or means for a garden.

Conservatory Craftsmen's owner, Jim Hewitt taught high school horticulture but left teaching to found a landscape construction business. In 1988, one of his clients asked Jim to construct a conservatory as part of a landscaping project. Jim became enamored with conservatories and made them his life's work.

Conservatory Craftsmen builds directly from blueprints and does not use prefabricated kits or components. As such, it was essentially the most qualified company to undertake the Queens County Farm greenhouse restorations project.

The farm is owned by the New York City Department of Parks, operated by the Colonial Farmhouse Restoration Society of Bellerose, Inc. and is a member of the Historic House Trust of New York City.

To speak with Jim directly, call 888-345-7915.