Longwood Gardens reaches mid-point in 2-year, $90 million revitalization of its Main Fountain Garden

The Main Fountain Garden is an extraordinary 85-year-old wonder conceived and designed by Longwood Founder Pierre S. du Pont. Creating a new model for how interdisciplinary projects such as these unfold, Beyer Blinder Belle + West 8 + Fluidity, working closely with the team at Longwood Gardens, are responsible for “New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project,” the most significant preservation project of its kind in the United States.

The construction effort has been driven by a team of experts, specialist consultants and experienced Longwood staff all of whom share an appreciation for the Garden’s history and a commitment to cultivating the Main Fountain Garden’s incredible legacy. To-date, key components including stone restoration, tunnel infrastructure and ground-laying have now been completed.

One of the first major elements of the revitalization to be completed is the restoration of 4,000 pieces of Italian limestone that form the Garden fountains, walls and ornamentation. Master craftsmen have meticulously returned the limestone to its glory using artistry and technology.

Another significant improvement lies beneath the fountain garden. An entirely new mechanical and electrical infrastructure will now be accessible by 1,400 linear feet of tunnels. This heart of the horticultural display serves as an underground world supporting the monumental fountains and their intricate features – a network of pools, basins, fountainheads and lighting.

Aside from the stone preservation work and technology updates, a major goal of New Heights is to encourage guests to explore the fountain garden. With this in mind, project landscape architects, West 8, redesigned the garden to include an elaborate and expansive boxwood hedge, inviting alleés of Linden trees and custom designed benches. To support the increased guest access and enhanced horticulture, a special soil mix was designed that uses a combination of gravel, sand and top soil. There are about 35,000 cubic yards of soil in the layered mix.

For a comprehensive overview of the largest project in Longwood’s history, please visit Longwood’s New Heights website.

Find out how 21st century technology is being used to maintain Mr. du Pont’s vision in this Longwood Gardens’ New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project short video.