The Conservatory of Flowers was gifted to the City of San Francisco in 1879 by twenty-seven civic-minded leaders of the City. The Conservatory was an instant sensation and quickly became the most visited location in the park.
One hundred and thirty-seven years later, it still brings smiles and awe to visitor’s faces. Whether it is the majestic Victorian architecture, the vast botanical collections, the serenity of the jungle, the best oxygen in the City or the captivating special exhibits, there is something sure to please everyone at this jewel box.
A few years ago, the Conservatory of Flowers received a generous bequest from the estate of Evelyn and Einar “Westy” Westberg.
Evie and Westy met at Augustine College in Rock Island, Illinois. Westy made his career with the J.C. Penny Company and in the 1950’s they were transferred to San Francisco where they fell in love with “The City.” They lived in a lovely home in Saint Francis Wood, overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
The Westbergs shared a great love of music and nature and explored many parks, coastal beaches and the mountains. Westy developed Alzheimer’s disease after his retirement. Almost daily, Evie would pack a lunch and the twosome would take a bus from their home to Golden Gate Park. The bus stop was in the next block from their home, but the drivers became so familiar with their travels that they often stopped right at the house to pick them up or let them off. After Westy died in 1996, and prior to her illness, Evie frequently visited the park on her own.
As they had no children, the park was truly their family. And as a final gift to their family, their will provided generous, thoughtful gifts to several of their favorite places in the park. We at the Conservatory are most grateful for their gift. We only wish that we had an opportunity to thank them.
If you have recognized the Conservatory in your will or would like information regarding how to do so, please contact the Conservatory’s Chief Development Officer, Samantha Smart Merritt, at 415-831-2093, or ssmartmerritt(at)sfcof.org. We would like to add your name to our Conservatory Legacy Society or respect your wishes to remain anonymous.
Conservatory Legacy Society
Trust of Kenneth Duchscherer
The Richard Glendon Trust
Berenice R. Spalding Charitable Trust
Richard J. Tessmann and Mandy Tessmann Revocable Trust UDT
Evelyn and Einar “Westy” Westberg