The picturesque Longwood Gardens outside of Wilmington, Delaware has announced a $90 million plan to revitalize its 83-year-old fountain garden. The expensive undertaking will include replacing the fountain’s aging electric and plumbing infrastructure, restoring limestone reliefs, installing new plantings and pathways, and improving guest access to the garden. The historic renovation is being led by Beyer Blinder Belle with West 8 overseeing the garden’s public space design.
The current Longwood Gardens fountain. (Flickr / mwms1916)
When it reopens in 2017, the refurbished five-acre Fountain Garden will have a new system of water jets to create a more dynamic water choreography—think the Bellagio. These new jets won’t just be agile, they will be powerful, capable of pushing water 175 feet high—topping the current system by 45 feet.Longwood Gardens (Courtesy West 8)
There will also be a colorful LED lighting system to highlight all of the fountain’s new tricks. Fluidity Design Consultants is behind the fountain’s revamp.Longwood Gardens (Courtesy West 8)
The renovation of Longwood Gardens will also include the reopening of the south wall which has 20 wall-mounted fountains, new seating areas, a renovated Pump House lobby, and a trellis bride that connects with the Fountain Terrace. “Our founder Pierre S. du Pont created the Main Fountain Garden for the enjoyment and delight of his guests at Longwood. Over the past eight decades, they have become a beloved part of our grounds,” said Longwood Gardens’ Executive Director Paul B. Redman. “The Gardens and its Board of Trustees have been planning for the revitalization of these iconic fountains for many years now. We are preserving Mr. du Pont’s legacy and adding to it through beautiful new plantings, the creation of new spaces in which to relax and reflect, and improved accessibility so guests can walk freely among the fountains.”
Groundbreaking is expected to start in mid-October.The bathrooms at Longwood Gardens. (Flickr / mwms1916)