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18 photos of Longwood Gardens Main Fountain Garden under construction

Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the $90M project

Longwood’s Main Garden Fountain re-opens to the public after nearly three years on May 27.
Photos by Melissa Romero

It’s full steam ahead at Longwood Gardens, where construction crews continue to restore and install $90 million worth of limestone, LED lights, fountain heads, and landscaping ahead of the May 27 re-opening of Main Fountain Garden.

The Main Fountain Garden has been closed to the public since October 2014, when construction began on what’s known as the New Heights Fountain Revitalization Project. It’s Longwood’s most expensive and biggest project to date in the garden’s 111-year history, and involved more than 3,000 workers, including Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners, Fluidity Design Consultants, West 8, and Bancroft Construction.

“There is an entire generation that have never seen this and have never experienced this,” said Longwood Gardens CEO Paul B. Redman. “And the great thing is that we have bought this to life again for future generations to see.”

Ahead of the May opening of the Main Fountain Garden, Curbed Philly went on a behind-the-scenes tour of the fountain, both above and below ground. Here’s a sneak peek of the project—90 percent of which the public will never actually see—in more than a dozen photos.

The view of the Main Fountain Garden from the Horticultural Hall.
Landscape architecture firm West 8 had 2,640 boxwood plants placed throughout the grounds. As they mature, the boxwoods will be sculpted.
There are a total of 1,719 jets installed within the Main Garden Fountain , 379 of which are original.
Dan Lepore & Sons in Conshohocken removed and restored 4,282 pieces of Italian and Indiana limestone. This will be the first time the Turtle Pool and fountain will be open to the public in years.

Longwood had a new Grotto built as part of the Main Garden Fountain, meant to be a place of reflection and will feature four fountains, including one that falls from the ceiling.

The underground tunnels are part of the 90 percent of the project that the public will never see, said Redman. Some 1,400 linear feat of tunnels were added.
To construct the tunnels, Bancroft Construction had precast concrete walls installed, allowing for extra efficiency.
The site of the future Pumphouse Plaza, which will feature an outdoor cafe with a rose trellis as its backdrop.
An original mock-up model of a fountain commissioned by Pierre S. DuPont will be placed in the Pumphouse Plaza.
One of the new fountain features is the Basketweave effect, which is created using 40 small streams per nozzle. The design was created by Fluidity solely for Longwood Gardens.