The Conservatory holds a special place in the hearts of many people. For some, it is the appreciation of the historic architecture, for others, the frosting that coats the 16,600 panes of glass. Orchid lovers embrace the world class orchid collections. Bromeliad lovers, ancient cycad explorers… so many things to love! For me, it’s the combination of history, and the fragrant, oxygen rich moisture kissed air that embraces me as I saunter through this treasured icon of Golden Gate Park and our fair City.
A public wood and glass building that welcomes more than 200,000 visitors a year takes an enormous amount of care to preserve and protect for future generations.
The Conservatory has been blessed to receive significant support from the estates of friends who formed a special bond with the Victorian lady.
Kenneth James Duchscherer, March 31, 1950 – July 16, 2008, left a significant gift to the Conservatory. His planned giving provided for his mother after his death. After she passed in 2009, the remainder of his trust was distributed according to his wishes. I spoke with Bruce Muncil, executor of the trust, and longtime friend of Kenneth’s. I want to share with you Bruce’s insights.
“Ken was a great fan of Victoriana and for him, the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers manifested the culture and beauty of that era in our city. He was very grateful that the Conservatory had been preserved for our generation and future generations by our community.
Ken loved the Conservatory, as a place of enjoyment, contemplation, and for its place in San Francisco history. He wished that it could continue for others to enjoy in times to come. He would be most pleased that his gift be used for the ongoing maintenance and preservation of the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers.”
The Richard Glendon Trust also contributed a generous donation to the Conservatory. The trustee of Richard’s estate, Barry Blazeyk, echoed Bruce’s reflections regarding his friend Ken. Richard also was drawn to the Conservatory as a place of respite: a calm oasis in a hectic City. We are so very grateful to Richard for his thoughtful estate planning that included the Conservatory. His bequest is reserved for critical maintenance needs.