$90 million revitalized garden to open

Renovated fountains at Longwood Gardens Photo by Daniel Traub

Longwood Gardens announced its Main Fountain Garden will make its grand return on May 27, following a two-year, $90 million revitalization.

The crown jewel of the most significant fountain collection in North America, Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden rivals the magnificent fountains of Europe with its beauty and ingenious application of leading-edge technologies and design. The Garden will premiere with a Summer of Spectacle from May 27 through September 30 delighting visitors with spectacular fountain shows, fireworks, tours and programs to jump start a season of celebration.

The revitalization of our iconic Main Fountain Garden is the largest project in Longwood’s history since the passing of our founder in 1954 and to share its return with our guests is incredibly exciting, said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens president and CEO. “Thanks to the efforts of our world-renowned design, engineering and historic preservation partners, as well as our most talented and dedicated Longwood team, we will soon reveal the most extensive and complex garden revitalization and fountain preservation of its kind in the United States. The results of their commitment and mastery are magnificent.”

The Main Fountain Garden is a hallmark of the Longwood experience visited by more than 1.35 million people each year. In 1931, Longwood’s founder Pierre S. du Pont debuted the Main Fountain Garden, which was inspired by 20th century technology from the world's fairs and the beauty of renowned European gardens.

As Longwood embarked on preserving the Garden, the team looked to the future to honor his vision and ensure the continued enjoyment of the fountains with an original concept of “adaptive restoration” guiding thousands of design, preservation, restoration and technology application decisions.

“A fountain and garden are living, joyful gifts and the charge of reawakening the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood is an exercise in creativity, thoughtfulness, and responsibility. It demands respect for how forward -looking the space was in its era and carrying that intent forward to build a magical, innovative, and full sensory experience. It is a place both heralded and unique in the world,” said Redman.

Governed by a vision and passion for the possibilities of such an unprecedented project, the design team of Beyer Blinder Belle (Architecture and Design), West 8 (Landscape Architect) and Fluidity Design Consultants (Fountain Design) synchronized their expertise to ensure faithful restoration, expert landscape architecture,garden design, and the application of technological innovations that culminate in an awe-inspiring fountain garden.

Architecturally, the Main Fountain Garden is an Italian Renaissance-inspired expanse constructed on 5 acre(s) with loggias, arches, and decorative sculptures. Dressed in opulent horticulture, the landscape includes generous lawns, shaded alleés, and sculpted plantings returning the Garden to its lush classical European roots. Several new elements including the Pumphouse Plaza and restored Fountain Terrace offer guests new vistas and access to the Garden. While a new, hidden Grotto surprises and intrigues visitors and offers a quiet, contemplative space.

The revitalization includes more than four thousand pieces of carved, ornamental limestone that were salvaged, meticulously cleaned, and repaired by stone carvers from around the world who recreated lost historic sculpture using traditional techniques and materials, including Italian limestone sourced from the original quarry. The water theatrics of the Main Fountain Garden are a feat of design and engineering that rely on the most advanced technologies available, uniting the Fountain’s fully restored "Legacy Displays” with a new suite of fanciful fountain systems including basket weave and flame nozzles. The production of dramatic light and sound shows with fine aesthetic character are enabled by additional state-of-the-art technology systems.

Nowhere else in the world is there a setting that marries fountains, theatre and gardens — firmly establishingLongwood Gardens’ Main Fountain Garden as one of the finest such venues in the world.

For information about the Main Fountain Garden and Summer of Spectacle season, visit longwoodgardens.org

 

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