Tucked away in the Sunnyside neighborhood near San Francisco's City College, the 111-year-old Sunnyside Conservatory sat largely unused since the city purchased the property in the 1980s to save it from demolition.

The building was originally constructed as part of a residential estate to house exotic plants and flowers, but it had been neglected for decades. In 2007, after several years of planning and assembling funding, Friends of Sunnyside Conservatory and the city's Recreation and Park Department and Department of Public Works began clearing away the cobwebs and restoring the landmark as a public park.

Completed in December 2009, the $3.6 million renovation preserved the historic building's appearance and design, and incorporated modern technology, such as insulated operable windows and skylights. Site improvements included the addition of an accessible ramp, outdoor gathering areas, lighting, new landscaping and an irrigation system.

The Sunnyside Conservatory restoration received one of the city's four awards this year from the Northern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association.