Longwood Gardens is embarking on a $250 million, 17-acre expansion in what the Chester County tourist destination is calling its “most ambitious revitalization in a century,” the Philadelphia Business Journal reported.
Longwood Reimagined: A New Garden Experience will preserve and relocate some of the 1,100-acre site’s existing staple elements while adding multiple new facets, including a 32,000-square-foot West Conservatory housing Mediterranean-inspired gardens, a Bonsai Courtyard, and a public restaurant and private event space, said PBJ.com.
The project expects to break ground in spring and is anticipated to debut to the public in fall 2024. As part of the initial transformation phase, Longwood’s century-old Orchid and Banana Houses will temporarily close on March 1 for preservation and re-open in time for the attraction’s year-end 2021 holiday display. Longwood’s Main and East conservatories will remain open throughout the expansion, and the destination will maintain its calendar of scheduled events and performances. The Kennett Square tourist attraction is frequented by more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
New York-based Weiss/Manfredi Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism is the lead designer on the project, working in collaboration with Reed Hilderbrand. Longwood Reimagined stems from a 2010 master plan by West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture in partnership with Weiss/Manfredi. Wilmington firm Bancroft Construction Co. will manage the project.
PBJ.com has details on the centerpiece of the Longwood Reimagined project, the forthcoming West Conservatory.