The foreground of this early twentieth-century photograph depicts Snug Harbor’s horticulture staff and the original Greenhouse before the Carl Grillo Glass House additions were made. If one examines the background closely, one is also able to see an outline of Snug Harbor’s hospital.
In March of 1982, the lawn of the Greenhouse, as well as other areas of the site, was excavated in tandem with the installment of new water mains. Archaeologist Jo Ann Cotz discovered pieces of flint on the front lawn of the Snug Harbor campus. Those small pieces of flint were most likely used as arrowheads for fishing by the Lenape Indians. Cotz explained to the Staten Island Advance that “It makes perfect sense to find this sort of thing at the Harbor” because its proximity to the water. The Lenape Indians most likely fished right offshore.
On December 3, 1999, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani dedicated the Glass House to the memory of Carl Grillo, one of his dear friends. This addition extended the already existing Greenhouse by 2,800 square feet, almost tripling the size of exhibition and propagation space. The renovation placed a three zone heating system in the Greenhouse to create arid conditions for the tropical plant displays.
Serving as the heart of Harbor in Bloom every year, the Carl Grillo Glass House greets visitors, gardeners, and horticulture enthusiasts alike every spring. In May of 2012, Harbor In Bloom brought the entire campus together for an exciting spring event full of music, blooming flowers, crafts, and educational activities. Hundreds of plants were placed on the lawn of the Glass House for visitors to purchase for their own gardens.