Eight years after a Pacific storm with winds of over 100 mph severely damaged San Francisco's Conservatory of Flowers, rehabilitation of this Victorian jewel is nearing completion. On Saturday, September 20, 2003 the Conservatory officially reopens to the public with a grand celebration for both residents and visitors. Opened in 1879, the wood and glass greenhouse is designated as a city, state and national historic landmark and was one of the 100 most endangered sites of the World Monuments Fund. It is a civil engineering landmark as well, serving as one of the few examples of a Victorian-era prefabricated building (it was a kit of parts). From Borneo to Bolivia, the 1500 species of plants at the Conservatory represent unusual flora from more than 50 countries around the world. Perhaps the most intriguing group of plants at the Conservatory is the famous collection of Dracula orchids, regarded as the world's best public collection. These monstrous beauties will be a primary feature of the HIGHLAND TROPICS exhibit, where the Conservatory's world-famous collection of high-elevation orchids will be displayed for the first time, along with mosses, ferns, vines and stunted trees of tropical mountaintops.