The Buffalo & Erie County Conservatory took three years to build from 1897-99 at a cost of $130,000. It is part of a 156-acre (63-hectare) botanical garden. The architects and builders were Frederick Lord, a former carpenter, and his business partner son-in-law William Burnham. This conservatory was one of the largest in the USA at the time. Both the conservatory and the botanic garden still operated with active programs of conservation, scientific investigation and public interest. In that sense the conservatory fulfils a traditional function of plant display. It is described by its public service managers as, “the horticultural hub of western New York”, and its 20,000 horticultural specimens are part of a movement to “sustain the wonders of Earth’s natural systems to ensure diverse plant life for future generations”.
This is a very traditional application of the term ‘conservatory’ on a grand scale.