Golden Gate Express Premiere Gala

 Wed, Nov. 19



The Golden Gate Express™ Premiere Gala

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 at 6:30 pm

Patron VIP reception at 5:30 pm

The romance of the rails comes to San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers this holiday season as we present the debut of the Golden Gate Express™ Garden Railway and the Premiere Gala. You are invited to preview this remarkable new exhibit while you enjoy a gala evening event amongst the exotic flora in San Francisco's crown jewel of Victorian architecture.

This delightful Conservatory exhibition celebrates the city of San Francisco as model G-gauge trains wend their way through a lush landscape of dwarf plants and flowers and steam past twelve of the city's landmark buildings. From City Hall to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco's most famous places provide a magical, exciting setting for this special holiday attraction that will captivate young and old alike. Added attractions include a vintage train seating area, the "Donor Depot", costumed conductors and interpretive materials about the development of San Francisco and its railways including a youth-created DVD about James Lick, the Bay Area tycoon who brought the Conservatory to California.


photo: Billy Winters

Gala guests will be the first to see "The Golden Gate Express" and have the rare chance to experience the Conservatory at night. There is nothing quite like an evening in this historic greenhouse as the lights illuminate the grounds and sky to transform the building and its tropical plant collections into a glowing oasis in the park.


Guests will enjoy the new signature "Golden Gate Express" cocktail, premium wines, "Station Stops" of tantalizing treats provided by McCall Catering and live music.

Space is limited, become a patron and get your tickets now. Be the first to come aboard "The Golden Gate Express"!

All proceeds from tickets, benefit drawing and sponsorship will support the Conservatory of Flowers youth environmental education programs.


Chip Sullivan, noted Professor of Landscape Architecture at UC Berkeley, has designed an engaging and interactive Garden Railway experience to captivate the young and the young at heart. Enjoy Professor Sullivan's artistry:


Dolores & Bob Gebhardt

English Garden Tea Room

Eva & Mike Monroe

San Francisco 49ers

Tiffany & Co.

Pat & Clay Thomson

Colette Weil & James R. Parrinello

Missy Fox Trumbore

(Partial listing)

Click here for more info on Rail Baron Benefit Drawing


Sponsorship packages are available for corporations. Please contact our Director of Development, Jane Scurich at 415-831-2093 or for more information.


The Conservatory of Flowers first opened to the public in 1879. Among the original twenty-seven kit purchasers were two of San Francisco's Big Four transcendental railroad developers, Leland Stanford and Charles Crocker. In 1883 Stanford began running a steam train along the street now named Lincoln Way from Stanyan to Ocean beach.

The venerable Conservatory of Flowers was a distinctive landmark and popular attraction. A severe wind storm caused devastating damage to the Conservatory in 1995. A grass roots effort to Save the Conservatory resulted in a $25 million renovation with the Conservatory officially reopening in September 2003. The Conservatory has received numerous local, state and national awards.

Click here to purchase tickets