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News > General > Longwood Reimagined: Beauty in the Making

Longwood Reimagined: Beauty in the Making

26 Mar 2024
Written by Carly Clifford

Change is what keeps a garden growing, thriving, and evolving—without change, a garden would have no life, vibrancy, nor connection to Nature herself. The same rule holds true for Longwood Gardens: change and improvement are our constant guides. When founder Pierre S. du Pont began creating what would become Longwood Gardens, he saw the potential in change and delivered on his vision of ensuring the future of Longwood as an unparalleled place of enjoyment for all. In that spirit, Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience—the most ambitious expansion, reimagination, and preservation of our Conservatory and surrounding landscape in Longwood’s modern history—continues our legacy of innovation and creates stunning new buildings, wondrous new indoor and outdoor gardens, fantastic guest experiences, and infinitely new moments of beauty to—very soon—enjoy.

To bring this extraordinary vision to life, Longwood Reimagined requires an unmatched team of the greatest minds, from our dedicated staff to the talented design team from WEISS/MANFREDI, Reed Hilderbrand Landscape Architects, and Bancroft Construction Company, among the many other experts involved in this endeavor that broke ground in 2021.

Equal parts preservation and expansion and blending the visionary and the historic every step of the way, Longwood Reimagined creates stunning new experiences, as well as enhances cherished spaces.

A centerpiece of Longwood Reimagined—both in scale and in design—is the West Conservatory. Built on the great 19th century tradition of glasshouses and enhanced with new, sustainable technologies, this 32,000-square-foot glasshouse has a close relationship with water. Its asymmetrical peaks rise from a pool on which the entire building seemingly floats, with its islands of interior Mediterranean gardens set amid pools, canals, and fountains.

We’re making history by relocating, reconstructing, and preserving our beloved Cascade Garden as part of Longwood Reimagined. The only surviving design in North America by acclaimed Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx, this garden is being moved into a new, custom-built, 3,800-square-foot glasshouse. A historic garden has never been moved as a whole and preserved in this way, and we are honored to work with a team of scholars, landscape architects, preservation experts, and the Burle Marx Landscape Design Studio to deliver this achievement.

There are many other wondrous experiences to come, including a new Bonsai Courtyard, refreshed Waterlily Court, new outdoor landscapes and vistas celebrating the beauty of the Brandywine Valley, our new 1906 Restaurant and The Fountain Room event space carved into the topography facing the Main Fountain Garden, and The Grove with state-of-the-art classrooms, library, virtual learning studios, and staff offices.

We are honored to enhance, steward, and preserve one of the world’s most important, most beautiful collections of gardens and glasshouses … and, beginning November 22—when Longwood Reimagined makes its debut—we are thrilled to share it all, with you.

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