After three years and $90 million worth of renovations, the Main Fountain Garden at Longwood Gardens has been recognized for its stunning comeback with the 2018 Preservation Achievement Grand Jury Award.
The architectural design team behind the renovations, which include Beyer Binder Belle, received the award from the Preservation Alliance of Greater Philadelphia, for their work to bring the historic, 80-year-old Main Fountain Garden back to its former glory—along with some additional improvements.
The fountain was built in 1876 and over the years, it had started to deteriorate and become difficult to maintain, until officials finally shut it down for repairs in 2014. With a big, privately funded $90 million budget, and a team of over 3,000 designers, the fountains underwent three years of renovations.
They built a quarter-mile of tunnels of pipes underground. They removed over 5,000 pieces of limestone, marble and Serptentine stone, and had them restored. They improved guest access and added in enhanced pathways and a boxwood hedge, and added a grotto below the main pathway.
When the garden reopened in 2017, it was the largest fountain preservation project of its kind in the U.S.
“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,” said said Paul B. Redman, Longwood Gardens president and CEO, in a statement on the repairs.
Beyer Blinder Belle is known for their work designing and renovating major buildings around the country including the Grand Central Terminal, The Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, and the U.S. Capitol, among many others.