Longwood Gardens set to open Main Fountain Garden on May 27, 2017
Longwood Gardens just announced its Main Fountain Garden will make its grand return on May 27, 2017, following a two-year, $90 million revitalization in which, West 8 (landscape architecture) has been working in collaboration with architect Beyer Blinder Belle (historic preservation) and Fluidity Design Consultants (water feature design).
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 delighting visitors with incredible 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 amazing and world-renowned design, engineering and historic preservation partners, as well as our most talented and dedicated Longwood team, our legendary Main Fountain Garden is back and more spectacular than ever.”
The premiere Summer of Spectacle season, May 27– September 30, will include an array of special programming. In addition to daily fountains shows, guests will enjoy tours, concerts, and special events throughout the summer. The gardens will have extended visiting hours on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for evening illuminated Fountain Shows. In addition, the popular Fireworks & Fountains shows, featuring illuminated fountains and fireworks choreographed to music, will return with six exciting special shows on May 28, July 2, July 22, August 12, September 2, and September 16. General admission tickets and Fireworks & Fountains show tickets go on sale in the spring.
Reimagining a Grand Garden
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, 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.
Highlights of the project include a complete restoration of 4,000 pieces of limestone, new mechanical and electrical infrastructure, and a brand new Garden experience, the Grotto. To improve guest access, enhanced pathways, an elaborate boxwood hedge, and inviting alleés are being created. The use of cutting-edge technology will bring the fountain displays soaring to greater heights, making the revitalized Main Fountain Garden a truly unmatched visitor experience.
The revitalization of Longwood’s Main Fountain Garden is the largest fountain preservation project of its kind in the United States. Such a massive and complex effort takes the talent, skill set and care of a dream team to restore the old while introducing the new.
For information about the Main Fountain Garden and Summer of Spectacle season, visit longwoodgardens.org or a dedicated project website: New Heights.