Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ohhh...the Lily Pool


For some reason, from the first time I heard about Alfred Caldwell's Lily Pool, I wanted to see it. If I'd gone home from Spring Fling and didn't get there, I knew I'd regret it. I'm not sure why I was so hell-bent on getting to see this place that I knew nothing about, but whatever was drawing me to it couldn't be silenced.

Now I have seen it and I want to go back. I missed the waterfall.

Located just around the corner from the Lincoln Park Conservatory and the Lincoln Park Zoo, this treasure is tucked away behind its Prairie School style entrance and once you walk through, a sense of calm takes over.


Originally built in 1889 for raising water lilies, it was redesigned in the 1930s by Alfred Caldwell. It's meant to mimic the melting glacial waters cutting through stone to create a river. At the north end, there's a waterfall, I'm told, that represents the source of the water for the Lily Pool.


The layers of limestone used throughout the area are impressive, especially in the shelter house. Caldwell makes great use of them in staying with the Prairie School style of architecture, which originated in Chicago. Romie and I are big fans of Frank Lloyd Wright, a leader of the Prairie Style, and have visited many of his landmark structures, such as Fallingwater.



Mom and I took a quick walk through the biggest part of the trails that wind around the pool, accompanied by two of our fellow Spring Flingers, MrBrownThumb and garden girl. It was a nice way to spend some time with both of them, away from the hustle and bustle of the city and our energetic group.

The wildflowers were right at home here and with all the natural lush green growth, it was hard to imagine that we were in the middle of a major city. Once in awhile, we'd get a glimpse of the "outside world," though...




Before we had really properly explored all the trails surrounding the Lily Pool, it was time to return to the bus. The evening would once again be spent with our Spring Fling friends at a proper Chicago pizza place, Giordano's. Mmmmm...pizza!


Still to come - The Ginkgo Organic Garden and Garfield Park Conservatory.


9 comments:

Rose said...

Kylee, This is just beautiful! I think this is one of my biggest regrets that I missed seeing the Lily pond. I opted to go to the Butterfly House at the Notebaert Museum, which was wonderful, but I wish I'd had a little more time to see the Caldwell pool. Saturday certainly was an activity-filled day! I enjoyed seeing the Conservatory photos, too; I love bougainvillea.

Janet said...

Doesn't it frustrate you when you go with a large group to a site, everyone divides up into their own group. Once you come back together, you find you didn't see something grand? I did that at Hillwood...forgot to go to a room...and EVERYONE was talking about a painting from that room. Oh well, love your pictures and now you have a reason to go back.

Hocking Hills Gardener said...

What a gorgeous pond. What a serene spot he has built. The work it must have been, but you can tell he must have enjoyed it because it turned out so beautiful. It just so inviting and makes you want to set or walk around and take it all in. Beautiful!

JC said...

That's pretty .. I like it when they use that for walkways and walls ...

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Kylee, this does look like a magical place and I'm sorry I missed it! Good thing I go to Chicago a few times a year... :)

Lisa at Greenbow said...

It looks like an enchanting place. It seems everyone that saw it liked it. It is just one more place I will have to see when I return to Chicago.

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

The lily pool and limestone...so soothing to the weary soul much like Wrights architect.

Bren said...

These are wonderful photos... so peaceful! Ever thought of video blogging? I was thinking about giving that a try on my garden blog.

Happy Monday - hope to see you soon!

Kim and Victoria said...

Wow! That limestone is really impressive.

blogger templates | Make Money Online