Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garde



About Us

Visitor Information

Family Programs

Special Programs

Lecture Series/Workshops

School Programs

Space Rental

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Board of Directors

Fred Gerber, President
Catherine Fitts, Vice-President
Jim Driscoll, Vice-President.
Lola McLinden, Treasurer
Marianne Giacalone, Secretary

Arlene Cusumano
Lynn Hanousek (on leave)
Joan Kingsley, Esq.
Patricia Sherwood
Barbara Silver
Howard Voltmer
Roland G. Wade


Who We Are

The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden occupies a home that was purchased by a German immigrant named Conrad Voelcker who emigrated from Germany in 1881. After his death in 1930, the house became the home of his daughter, Theresa Voelker and her husband, Dr. Rudolph Orth. Their daughter, Elisabetha Orth, who lived in the house most of her life, in her will established the organization which now runs the museum. The immediate goal of the organization was the restoration of the Voelker Orth homestead. More than a century old, this house has been the home of a single family for nearly its entire history and has changed little since the days of Conrad Voelcker.

A distinguishing feature of the museum is the garden, containing plants that were once regular favorites in the Victorian era. The garden is maintained using eighteenth century propagation methods and gardening techniques, such as hand pruning and the use of natural fertilizers and pesticides. Serving as a sanctuary, the garden’s many varieties of berry bushes and trees attract migrating birds, such as orioles, mockingbirds, and hummingbirds, as well as local species like cardinals and blue jays. In June and July, our butterfly bush attracts monarchs, swallowtails, and other species, and our bee hive is home to a thriving colony of honey bees which produce a modest amount of honey for our educational programs.



Mission Statement

The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden, through the experience of an immigrant family’s 1890s home, preserves and interprets the cultural and horticultural heritage of Flushing, Queens and adjacent communities to engage their ever-changing populations. .


Our Award-Winning House and Garden
The Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary and Victorian Garden is the proud recipient of two awards.

Environmental Enhancement Award
The Long Island Nursery and Landscape Association has given the 2005 Gold Award in the commercial category to Ireland Gannon for the creation of our Victorian Garden.

First Prize Award
The Chamber of Commerce, Borough of Queens, New York, has awarded first prize to the Voelker Orth Museum for excellence in design, 2002.

The Voelker Orth Museum operates as a private non-profit organization. Its programs receive funding from a number of public and private sources. The Museum acknowledges support from Councilman Peter Koo and Councilman Daniel J Halloran, and Museumwise with funds from NYSCA. Performances & exhibitions are supported in part by New York City’s Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York Council for the Humanities.