Conservatory history

The Pearson Conservatory in St George’s Park was opened by Honourable John X Merriman on 12 September 1882 at a cost of £3,800.  It is named after Mr HW Pearson, the Mayor of Port Elizabeth at that time.
The Eastern Province Herald discribed the conservatory as following in an article the next day. 
The structure consists of a centre building and two wings.  The central building measures 25 feet by 50 feet by 29 feet high to the centre of the skylight.  The roof is supported on eight lofty columns with marble shafts and ornamental heads picked out in gold and dark green.  The wing buildings each measure 21 by 44 feet by 17 feet high to the centre of skylights. The roofs of these buildings are also supported on ornamental columns, and over these as also the centre building the iron ribs of the roof are strengthened by means of ornamental wrought iron scroll work.  The whole of the buildings with the exception of the plinth are constructed of glass and molded teak wood framing, the roof ribs being of light iron. The interior is decorated as follows: a warm grey ground picked out with pale blue and light chocolate lining, and the scroll iron work with light flesh colour lining columns all marbled and mouldings guilded, and the glass on the sides exposed to the sun is frosted with ornamental lines and corners.
The roofs have also been frosted in light blue to subdue the vertical rays of the sun and keeps the place beautifully cool.  The exterior is decorated as follows: Light stone colour ground with chocolate and white lining.  The gutters have a small chocolate stencil pattern, and the sashes all white, the ornamental iron cresting and terminals are painted dark blue, picked out with white and gold.
The ventilation of the building is complete, being arranged as follows: Ivory alternate sash at the bottom opens, being hung on pivots, and the sky-light sashes throughout are opened simultaneously by a lever apparatus, worked by a hand screw.  The arrangements of the interior are as follows: Round the whole building a raised bed is built with a retaining wall for plants, and at the centre of the two wings a double tier of shelves of perforated iron, supported on miniature columns for the reception of plants.  The centre building has a very handsome centre fountain with large basin, and on either side enclosed spaces for plants.
There are also four very handsome bronzed seats for visitors.The glazing, painting and decorating has been executed by Mr Johnstone, of Port Elizabeth, under the instruction and superintendence of Mr W H Miles, Consulting Architect to the municipality.
I got the above info off the St George’s Park history website.

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