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Longwood Fountain Garden To Reopen

The long awaited reopening of the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens arrives on May 27, 2017.

Longtime fans of the gorgeous Longwood Gardens have been eagerly anticipating the return of the magnificent Main Fountain Garden. After a sweeping $90 million restoration and renovation, it’s reopening on May 27, 2017.


The Main Fountain Garden has been out of commission for the past two years. A top-notch team has been revitalizing the famous fountains during that time, attempting to bring the fountain garden back to its original glory —  inspired by the 1876 centennial water spectacle and the grand architecture from famous gardens in Europe.


“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,” Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens’ president and CEO, said in a press release. “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.”


Created by Pierre S. du Pont in 1931, the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens has been a draw for locals and tourists for for decades. (More than a million people visited last year.) But those decades came with wear and tear on early 19th century technology that was not holding up to modern demand.


The fountains have been refurbished before: in 1965, the fountain control system was replaced, and in the early 1970s, the staff replaced a significant amount of the plumbing, and repaired the concrete on the balustrade. These repairs held up the fountains for a while, until the 1990s, when safety concerns left the staff no choice but to turn off some of the fountains and section others off.


It was clear it was time for a new start.


The planning for the revitalization began in 2010, and construction began on the new fountains in 2014. The result is a state of the art fountain system that gives du Pont’s original vision a modern appeal.


Longwood historian Colvin Randall called the revitalization “a combination of French grandeur and Italianate ornamentation, surrounded by a green English landscape.”


The new fountains premiere May 27 and will be ongoing through September 30 in what Longwood is calling the “Summer of Spectacle.” The gardens will be open in the evenings on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays for the famous illuminated fountain shows.

Fireworks and Fountains is also returning, with a promise that it will be more spectacular than ever. Those dates are May 28, July 2, July 22, August 12, September 2, and September 16, 2017.


Tickets for the Summer of Spectacle will go on sale this spring. Right now, you can check out an exhibit about the revitalization project, which overlooks the new fountains and explains the garden’s history. 


Can’t wait for spring? Here’s a a sneak peak at the new Main Fountain Garden spectacle:



Longwood Gardens is at 1001 Longwood Road, Kennett Square. General admission is $23 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $12 for kids 5 and older.



Photograph by Daniel Traub, courtesy of Longwood Gardens. 



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