The Ed Lycan Conservatory, full of rare cactuses in desert landscape displays, fell into disrepair and was closed at Will Rogers Gardens two years ago.
The conservatory was falling apart in 2011, said Tony Furrh, 67, of Oklahoma City.
Furrh, a member of the Central Oklahoma Cacti and Succulent Society, and others volunteered their expertise helping city workers set up the desert display with cactuses the public will be able to see grow year round when it reopens Wednesday.
Furrh said there are rose rocks from the former conservatory. He remembers the jungle rooms and the cactus rooms in the old conservatory, and he said the exhibits will be better than before.
The ribbon-cutting for the reconstructed landmark conservatory is set for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It will reopen to visitors then.
The old greenhouse was not safe for people to walk inside two years ago. It was rusting away, Furrh said.
The two year wait will be worth it, Furrh said.
“We're trying to make it better than before,” Furrh said.
There will be about 100 plants moved in right away.
In 1936, the conservatory opened on NW 36 just east of Portland Avenue at what was known as Northwest Park, said Jennifer McClintock, Oklahoma City Parks spokeswoman. And since that time, it has been at what is now called the Will Rogers Gardens.
As part of a 2007 general obligation bond issue approved by city voters, about $2 million of improvement has been completed to the conservatory project, McClintock said.