Belle Isle Conservatory Truss Replacement


Belle Isle Conservatory

Project Stats

Detroit, MI


State of Michigan / DNR


G.H. Forbes Associates Architects


Self-Perform Miscellaneous Steel Installation, Self-Perform Structural Steel Erection



4,000 SF

Project Size

Project Overview

A gem of Detroit, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory located on Belle Isle is one of the nation’s oldest glasshouses still in existence. The Albert Khan designed building, known for its glass dome, was inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and opened on August 18, 1904.

The Department of Natural Resources and Belle Isle contracted Ideal to restore the integrity of the dome structure, known as the Palm House. The scope of work included the removal and replacement of the deteriorating structural steel truss columns, original to the 1904 structure, with new galvanized assemblies. The towering palms and tropical plants housed in the 100,600 cubic-foot dome proposed a challenge to the team as the temperature was to remain consistent throughout construction. Through close coordination and a well-developed plan between Ideal Contracting and our subcontractors, this project was delivered on time and with great customer satisfaction.

Project Highlights

  • Removal + replacement of (20) steel truss columns
  • 4,000 SF circular dome

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