October 21, 2014

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Olcott Park Greenhouse

Street Address:
9th Ave. W. and 7th St. N.
Virginia, MN 55792

Directions:
On north side of town, in Olcott Park, next to the Heritage Museum

Phone Number:
218 741-2149

Website:
http://www.ironrange.org/things-to-do/olcott-park

2nd Website:
http://www.ohwy.com/mn/o/olpkmugr.htm

Run by:
Municipality of Virginia, Minnesota

Date Established:
1930’s

Size:
40 acres (Olcott Park)
45,000 sq.ft.(greenhouse)

Designer:
Built by Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC)

Cost:
No admission fee

Peak Season:
Greenhouse – Year-round

Extras:
Free street parking and within the park
Picnicking in Olcott Park

Comments:
This greenhouse dates from an era when the Iron Range, the town of Virginia and its Olcott Park were in their prime. The park boasted many floral displays with elaborate carpet-bedding designs made up of numbers, words and symbols, all created out of plantings of flowering annuals. The three-room greenhouse that supported all that activity remains and now supplies plants for somewhat more modest plantings in Olcott Park and other municipal sites. The two smaller side rooms of the greenhouse are the non-public propagating / working rooms, but the larger central room with over 4,500 square feet contains an impressive, extensive and beautiful collection of exotic plants for the public to enjoy. It’s the only greenhouse with these sorts of treasures between the Iron Range and the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The plants range in size from small specimens to mature grapefruit trees bearing fruit. There are very well maintained collections of cactus and succulents, large agave, ficus and screw pine specimens. Most plants are labeled.