KENNETT SQUARE, PA — The architectural design team behind the revitalization of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens will be the recipient of a 2018 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award. Beyer Blinder Belle, a premier architectural firm specializing in historic preservation, will join Longwood to receive the honor from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia. The Alliance recognizes historic building projects that have been restored or renovated in an exemplary way. The five-year, $90 million restoration was the largest fountain preservation project of its kind in the United States.
The 80-year-old Main Fountain Garden is a hallmark of the Longwood experience visited by more than 1.5 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.
The scope of Beyer Blinder Belle, whose portfolio includes Grand Central Terminal, Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, and the New York Botanical Garden, focused on the restoration of the original design; repair and improvements to mechanical and electrical systems; introduction of a series of new architectural elements such as the Grotto, Grand Stairs, and a series of subterranean service structures; and enhancements to the plantings, fountains, and visitor amenities.
Additional project highlights included a complete restoration of 4,000 pieces of limestone; improved guest access with enhanced pathways; an elaborate boxwood hedge and inviting alleés; and cutting-edge fountain technology, all making the revitalized Main Fountain Garden a truly unmatched visitor experience.
“The revitalization of our beloved Main Fountain Garden was the largest and most complex project to date for Longwood,” said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens President and CEO. “To respect the Garden’s 80-year-old history while embracing 21st-century technology and innovation was a fine line. We were successful thanks to the efforts and skills of our incredible design teams who were led by Beyer Blinder Belle.”
In addition to Beyer Blinder Belle, Longwood collaborated with more than 80 design teams and firms across the globe including West 8, a world-renowned landscape architecture firm; Fluidity Design Consultants, a water feature design and engineering firm; and L’Observatoire International, a lighting design firm.
Following the May 2017 return of the Main Fountain Garden, the project and its design teams have been the recipient of more than a dozen awards including a 2017 Best of Design Award from Architect’s Newspaper and 2018 Palladio Award from Traditional Building Magazine.
Miriam Kelly, Senior Associate for Beyer Blinder Belle and Penny Person, Director of Construction Management at Longwood, will be accepting the 2018 Grand Jury Award during the Preservation Achievement Awards Ceremony held on June 6 in Philadelphia. The event is hosted by the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia, who actively promotes the appreciation, protection, and revitalization of the Philadelphia region’s historic buildings, communities and landscapes.
For information about the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood visit longwoodgardens.org.
Source: Longwood Gardens, 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square PA 19348
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