LONGWOOD CHIMES 294
Gardens change, day to day and season to season, relying on both Mother Nature’s whim and man’s deliberate work. While change is inevitable, growth is intentional. Longwood Gardens is a balance of both. In this issue we explore some notable changes — from the evolution of our orchid collection to the emergence of the meticulously restored limestone in our Main Fountain Garden. And, we explore our growth as an organization over time—from promoting staff leadership at all levels to the elevation of our Performing Arts programming.
In the House A shared passion: The story of our Orchid Collection. By David Sleasman
The Fountains of Longwood Part Five: Nurturing Rainbows The completion of the Main Fountain Garden in 1938 is followed by periodic change and transformation. By Colvin Randall
The Public Garden Century A conversation with one current leader and five up and coming.
A Giant Among the Jets How a cross section from a Giant Sequoia came to be displayed in the Main Fountain Garden from the 1930s to 1985. By Colvin Randall
The New Stone Age A photographic celebration of the newly restored Italian limestone of the Main Fountain Garden reveals subtle detail and intricacy not seen in decades. By Sam Markey
An Entertaining Tradition A behind-the-scenes look at our Performing Arts department reveals the business behind the art. By Lynn Schuessler
In Appreciation After 46 years of service, Irénée du Pont, Jr., retires from the Longwood Board of Trustees.
Items belonging to Louis Jacoby, who worked as Longwood’s first orchid grower from 1924 until his death in 1956. Clockwise from left: Program and name tag from the First World Orchid Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, 1954; grower’s notebook, 1926 –1939; handwritten plant tag for orchid B.C. ‘British Queen,’
1930; American Orchid Culture by Edward A. White, 1939; program for the third National Exhibition of Orchids given by the American Orchid Society, May 1928 in Madison Square Garden, New York; dinner invitation from Mr. and Mrs. Pierre S. du Pont. Originals in Longwood Gardens Archives. Photo by Daniel Traub.
In the House A shared passion: The story of Longwoodâ€™s Orchid Collection. By David Sleasman
Guests in the Orchid House, Conservatory, December 2012. Photo by Daniel Traub.
At the heart of Orchid Extravaganza is our very own vibrant orchid collection. The Orchid House display is a daily celebration of these magnificent plants. The scale of the display entices guests to linger with amazement at the variety of color, scent, and unusual forms. A collection developed over decades fuels the Orchid House’s powerful display (updated three times a week to ensure peak bloom!). It is a testament to the passions of orchid enthusiasts, careful additions of new plants, and the skill of its growers. Longwood’s orchid collection dates back to our founders—Pierre and Alice du Pont. From the 1920s to the 1940s they purchased extensively from American growers and imported from nurseries abroad. Exotic selections from growers in India, Thailand, and the Caribbean added to the variety of plants from some of the best growers in England, France, and Belgium. Over the years our collection has motivated other orchid enthusiasts to add to the du Ponts’ collections. In the early 1950s Mrs. William K. du Pont gave her personal collection of 2,314 plants (mainly from the Cattleya alliance of related botanical genera). Her grower, Bruce Scott, began working at Longwood along with the precious plants. Dr. Sam Breit of Australia in the mid-1980s gave 184 orchids, including a large Dendrobium speciosum var. grandiflora.
In 2001 Mt. Cuba Center offered 274 orchids, a significant portion of Mrs. Lammot du Pont Copeland’s personal collection. Recently, dedicated Longwood volunteer and orchid lover Duane Erdmann contributed 236 of his own demure and dainty Restrepia and Zootrophion species and selections. Over the years these gifts have joined the many selections made by Longwood’s dedicated orchid growers, the keepers of this passion. Since the 1920s there have been a small number of talented growers nurturing this large collection. Blazing the trail was Louis Jacoby in 1924. Jacoby was then followed by Bruce Scott, Clarence Deckman, Dick Keen, Rolfe Smith, Ed Rainer, Ted Acorn, Larry Clouser, Michael Owen, Lee Alyanakian, and Lorrie Baird. Currently Greg Griffis is the plants-person who cares for the collection assisted by a dedicated team of volunteers. Greg has been at Longwood for two years, coming from an orchid specialty grower in Hawaii. Already his efforts are making an impact on the plants as he works to improve overall health and encourage more bloom for display. The entire collection is being viewed with fresh eyes looking toward its future potential. And what of the orchids themselves? There are many thousands of individual plants that comprise the collection. A large majority of those are hybrids bred for
beauty, form, and color by specialty breeders. The remainder are naturally occurring species. Breaking this down further into taxa, or botanical category, by the alliance groupings—Cattleya 32%, Cypripedium 20%, Pleurothallis 12%, Dendrobium 10%, Phalaenopsis 9%, and Oncidium/Odontoglossum 8%. Other alliances are represented by much smaller percentages. Approximately 225 plants remain from du Pont’s original orchid purchases. Some examples of plants that remain in the collection from these early acquisitions are: × Odontioda Red Riding Hood and × Odontioda Viscount Kitchener both acquired from A. J. Keeling & Son, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, 1930; and Dendrobium Louis Bleriot acquired from Sanders, The Royal Orchid Nurseries, St. Albans, Herts, England, 1933. A collection that started with the passion of two people has grown over the decades into a larger, shared one. The result is the Orchid House’s daily display of beauty that is revered by many. Our orchids truly represent our standard of excellence, dedication to beauty, and commitment to upholding the legacy of our founders. We encourage you to linger a little longer in the Orchid House and consider the plants and people as you marvel at years of horticultural work on display.
Left and opposite: These photographs are from a survey initiated to document what remained of Mr. and Mrs. du Pont’s original orchid collection, covering the period from the opening of the conservatories in 1921 until Mr. du Pont’s death in 1954. They were photographed in 2006 as each came into bloom throughout the year. Shown here are (top) Dendrochilum glumaceum and (right) Paphiopedilum insigne (Tropical Slipper Orchid). Photos by David Ward.
“We have very big plans for the collection and its future growth. Our curator, Dr. Peter Zale, and I have been identifying genera of interest so that we can expand the collection.” —Greg Griffis, Longwood Orchid Grower
Above: Orchid grower Greg Griffis in the Orchid House. Photo by Daniel Traub.
Louis Jacoby Collection Shown here are items from the Louis Jacoby Collection. The collection consists of photographs, handwritten notes, and printed material, and was acquired by Longwood Gardens Library & Archives in several batches prior to 2013.
Louis Jacoby begins as Longwoodâ€™s first Orchid grower, 1924.
Orchid on display in Conservatory greenhouse.
Longwood employees (from left to right) George Hartigan, R. Johnson, and N. Parsons in the Orchid House.
View of orchid case in the Conservatory.
Orchid photograph from the Louis Jacoby Photo Album.
Pages from the Louis Jacoby orchid growerâ€™s notebook.
The Public Garden Century In May, the Longwood Graduate Program’s Class of 2017 will graduate with a Master of Science in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware. These next few months, you’ll find all five Fellows preparing for this moment—which includes defending their theses, executing a successful annual symposium, and searching for just the right professional placement come June. Elizabeth Barton, Alice Edgerton, Erin Kinley, Grace Parker, and Tracy Qui sat down with our President and Chief Executive Officer, Paul B. Redman, to talk about leadership and to learn more about what’s on the horizon for Longwood Gardens.
Longwood Graduate Program Fellow Elizabeth Barton.
Photographs by William Hill
Longwood Graduate Program’s Class of 2017 in conversation with President and CEO Paul B. Redman on the future of public gardens.
What attracted you to horticulture as a career? Paul B. Redman: I was struck by the sheer
beauty of flowers, plants, and landscapes, but I was also greatly influenced by my grandmother, Madeline, whom we affectionately called Me-Me. She was an enthusiastic gardener and showed me how to start my first garden. As a leader of a public garden, what have been some of the biggest changes you have seen in the industry in the last decade?
I have observed many advancements during my 25+ year career in public gardens. While public gardens have been around for a long time, as a profession it is a relatively new career. Public gardens really didn’t hit their stride until the late 20th century as compared to art museums, zoos, and science centers that had sophisticated organizations by the mid20th century. For example, I can remember in the late 1980s when having guest amenities at public gardens such as retail, food service, or facility rentals were innovative thoughts. Also, very few public gardens had the well-honed fundraising and marketing programs that they have today. As a result of our evolution, public gardens are becoming indispensable resources to our communities and we are making a tremendous difference in many lives. I personally believe that the 21st century is the Public Garden Century.
How do you hope to sustain the high standards of Longwood Gardens in light of the talent shortage facing the horticulture industry?
We are tackling the challenge of a diminishing horticulture pipeline talent through our leadership and participation in a national movement called Seed Your Future. We are working with a consortium of national horticulture leaders to change the perception of horticulture by increasing public awareness of the positive attributes of the profession and to increase capacity in horticulture through a perception shift that drives talented young people to view horticulture as a vital, viable, and vibrant career path.
Longwood Graduate Program Fellow Erin Kinley.
Longwood Graduate Fellows Class of 2017 meet with Paul Redman. Clockwise from far left: Paul Redman, Tracy Qui, Erin Kinley, Grace Parker, Alice Edgerton, and Elizabeth Barton.
What is the most exciting thing that lies ahead for Longwood?
Everything! But…the one thing that we are over-the-top excited about is the return of our beloved Main Fountain Garden this summer. It has been a phenomenal experience so far, but the real reward will come when we get to share it with our guests. Our revitalized Main Fountain Garden will behold entirely new experiences that many will think were always there. Also, the future capability of the fountains will be jaw-dropping inspiring. I can already hear the “oohs and aahs.” There will be nothing like it in the world. It will be a point of pride for everyone. How does leadership play into this? What leadership skills do you think are necessary to take Longwood there? Longwood Gardens President and CEO Paul B. Redman.
“We are working with a consortium of national horticulture leaders… to increase capacity in horticulture through a perception shift that drives talented young people to view horticulture as a vital, viable, and vibrant career path.”
I personally think one of the greatest leadership challenges a person can experience is to be at the helm of an organization that is successful. Sure, we can always improve something, but we are extremely fortunate in that Longwood is loved by many, which is evident by the dedication of our members and others. How one maintains success and continues to pave new paths of success is the key. I personally believe that the most important skill to achieving this is first and foremost to be grateful.
Holding an event like Nightscape in the absence of the fountain garden was wildly successful with Millennial and tech-based audiences. Do you plan to continue to engage these younger and more diverse audiences?
Absolutely. I have no doubt whatsoever that when we debut to the world our revitalized Main Fountain Garden it will capture the imagination of everyone, no matter the age. However, the revitalized Main Fountain Garden will have great appeal to Millennials, because of the sheer complexity of its technological genius and beauty. What is your advice for the next generation of leaders in public horticulture?
Have realistic expectations in your career. Shoot for the moon, but understand that you have to dig a lot of holes to create a beautiful garden.
—Paul B. Redman, President and CEO
Color and black-and-white transparencies of the Main Fountain Garden circa 1965â€“1989. From the Longwood Gardens staff photographersâ€™ file, Longwood Gardens Library & Archives. Photo of loupe and magnifying glass by William Hill.
The Fountains of Longwood: Part Five
Nurturing Rainbows The completion of the Main Fountain Garden in 1938 is followed by periodic change and transformation. By Colvin Randall
Fireworks display, Main Fountain Garden, summer 2006. Photo by Larry Albee.
Below: Love Temple, June 1,1940. Photo not attributed. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives. Right: May 1963 view of the Love Temple on the Game Lawn. Photo by Gottlieb Hampfler.
The Main Fountain Garden debuted in its illuminated form in September 1931. But refinements continued well into the 1930s. Hydraulic experiments resulted in some pump reassignments and the addition of the eye-catching Tree Jet and Fishtail effects to the Rectangular Basin in 1933. Massive planting continued through 1935. The carved stonework was also completed by that year, including replacing water steps in the center of the Upper Canal with walkable stairs built over a gushing shell. The two smallest canals were embellished with blue tile. A stone Love Temple was erected on the Game Lawn (next to today’s Idea Garden) to provide a focal point to accentuate but balance the asymmetrical extension of the garden to the west. The Waterfall was given an upper level, and an above-ground stream was dug and lined with rocks to connect the hilltop reservoir with the falls. By 1938, the Main Fountain Garden was finally finished. During Pierre du Pont’s lifetime, the Main Fountains were illuminated at full capacity after private evening parties, after dinners for service and professional organizations, and for University of Delaware summer student gatherings. The public enjoyed them mainly after Open Air Theatre charitable events for which tickets were sold. The Theatre fountains would 18
follow the stage event, then the audience would walk over to the Main Fountain Garden for a half-hour show. In 1932, the first full year of operation, there were 24 evening displays. This schedule continued with some variation until World War II when Longwood greatly scaled back. There were no shows from 1942 to 1945, and the nozzles were removed and hidden lest they be confiscated for metal. As Pierre noted in 1942, “We are having very few visitors these days, practically none. The place seems deserted and less like a public park.” After the war, the schedule resumed and Open Air Theatre performances again ended with a short stage fountain display after which guests usually enjoyed a Main Fountain Garden show. Pierre du Pont passed away in April 1954. That summer, the Longwood Foundation sponsored the first free evening show for the general public on Tuesday, August 24, 1954. About 2,500 people attended. Phil Brewer reported that “the public were definitely appreciative as shown by their exclamations and applause during the fountain display. Many were overheard making favorable comments and expressions of hope for future displays and all who were talked to freely proclaimed their enjoyment of the display and said
they would tell others if more displays were given in the future.” The cost of the display was about $40 for labor and electricity. The next year, 1955, evening displays were given once every three weeks from May through October. Over the decades these gradually grew into as many as four evening displays a week, which adds up to about 475 shows during Pierre’s lifetime and 2,750 shows since, totaling 3,225 illuminated displays through 2014. In 1984, as a marketing initiative, the term “Festival of Fountains” was coined as part of a year-round festival concept initiated to celebrate Longwood’s different seasons. Soon there was a performing arts event before every evening fountain display. During Mr. du Pont’s time, the Main Fountains were operated at a reduced “static” display from 2 to 6 pm daily during the fountain season, but eventually they ran all day. In 1962, special 15-minute shows at full capacity were offered at 2 pm on weekends and holidays, and 15-minute shows at 4 pm were added in 1963. These twice-a-day weekend shows (manually operated by an electrician) were publicized every year through 1974. Daily automated 5-minute full-capacity shows began in 1987 at noon, 2, and 4 pm. Viewing the daytime fountains at full throttle became
Right: 1950 photo showing a morethan-usual static (gravityfed) daytime display: Upper Canal mists, Lower Canal jets, Round Basin mists plus seven jets (aimed vertically), Rectangular Basin Fishtail, #3, #4, and #7 mists. Photo by Gottlieb Hampfler. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
Pierre du Pont passed away in April 1954. That summer, the Longwood Foundation sponsored the ﬁrst free evening show for the general public.… About 2,500 people attended. Phil Brewer reported that “the public were deﬁnitely appreciative as shown by their exclamations and applause during the fountain display.”
a highlight for casual visitors. In 1999 and 2002, however, state-imposed drought restrictions eliminated daytime but not evening displays. In 1934 Pierre du Pont invited some friends to privately view the illuminated fountains, noting, “If you will give me a couple days’ notice, I shall be sure to have a good demonstrator on hand.” The foremost among those was the man responsible for designing the electrical control systems, Phil Brewer, who wrote in 1937: “By mixing these five colors [red, blue, green, yellow, white], innumerable shades, tints and blends may be obtained and usually the operator improvises continually. He may follow a sort of routine or sequence of color combinations but he is continually finding new and prettier combinations and then tries to remember them for the next time.” Longwood’s electricians used to relate how Mrs. du Pont would observe a color combination that she particularly liked, telling the operator much to his chagrin, “How’d you do that? Do that again!” Recreating the effect was almost impossible. Although this took place at the Open Air Theatre, it would be equally applicable to the Main Fountains. Phil Brewer retired in 1960, but he was retained for a year as a special consultant
to plan the electrical rebuilding of the fountains. It was a complex job, and he told one visitor that “it is such a big project that happily I will be retired before they do it.” By 1963, it was recommended that the old motorized rheostats be replaced with the latest electronic dimmers. Furthermore, “the proposed system offers the advantage of a programmed display which could be arranged to eliminate ‘clashes’ of color during the cross-fading operation by color coordinating displays.” The original equipment was removed after the 1965 fountain season and was replaced with a new theatre lighting system costing $60,000 that was first used to control a public display on May 15, 1966. Control systems weren’t the only changes faced by the Main Fountain Garden. Mother Nature could be brutal, and never more so than in 1958 when a massive snowstorm broke apart many of the magnificent boxwoods. Thus began years of replanting boxwood or, as a substitute, Japanese holly. In addition to daily maintenance, the Main Fountain Garden required periodic renewal over the years. Some of these efforts were practical, like new Canal copings in 1957 and 1958, replacement blue tile in 1960, new pump parts in 1963, and 19
Right: Chart dated November 18, 1974, showing color settings for the 30 cards that constituted a half-hour fountain display. Card #30 (the bottom line) shows all 51 dimmers at 100%, allowing the operator to manually shift between solid colors.
Above: Ted Seel at the 1966 console. Pumps and valves were controlled by lighted red pushbuttons to the far left and right; lights were controlled from a three-scene preset system (in center) with faders (one shown at bottom with black handle) to move manually from one scene to the next, usually in about five seconds. Each scene used a pair of removable plastic cards, which were stored in a spring-loaded fourcompartment bin to the operator’s right. Cards were lifted off the control board and replaced with the next pair while that scene’s fader was down. There were 30 pairs of cards (plus a few extra) to make 30 one-minute color scenes, although the duration was totally up to the operator, who manually moved the faders at will. All the dimmers were set to 100% on the bottom pair of cards, allowing the operator to sequentially fade the 5 solid colors using 5 color master faders (out of sight on bottom desk); the solid colors were usually on less than one minute apiece—perhaps 20–30 seconds each—at the very end of each show, with all white as the final scene.
Century Lighting C-Card, 15½ × 5¼ × ½-inch, with sliding color-coded potentiometers, used 1966–1983. Label at lower left indicates this was the right-hand card of the 14th pair. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
This 1941 photo by Lawrence Greeley shows how the boxwood was covered for winter protection. Not every specimen was protected, mostly the plants north of the Upper Canal. This was probably because they had been growing the longest at this site, or because they were closest to the Conservatory and more likely to be viewed close up by visitors. After Mr. du Pontâ€™s death in 1954, the practice was discontinued, a decision which proved to be unfortunate.
A record snowstorm in March 1958 dropped 46 inches of wet, heavy snow and decimated many of the plants. Shown here are gardeners planting replacement boxwoods later that year.
Above: The Eye of Water in the 1970s, with a smooth laminar flow across the surface. In recent years, modifications have introduced a frothy backwash around the middle of the Eye. The Eye gushes 4,000 to 5,000 gallons per minute. Right: 1966 aerial view showing the original hilltop reservoir outlet (at center bottom of photo) above the Waterfall, as completed in 1938. This was replaced by the Eye of Water in 1968.
Pierre du Pont designed the southwest corner of the fountain garden with an arched iron trellis to extend the pumphouse wall. The nine bays were covered with vines arching over curved “sleigh” fountain basins.
valve rebuilds in 1966. The first significant addition was conceived in 1962 as a rain shelter around the “quite unsightly” hilltop reservoir that fed the Waterfall. Director Russell Seibert recalled an unusual water feature he had seen in Costa Rica: the Fuente de Ojo de Agua, built in 1938, was a circular “eye” feeding a swimming pool with 3,170 gallons per minute of spring water. Using it as a model, Longwood commissioned civil engineer Iraj Zandi from the University of Pennsylvania and graduate student George Govatos to conduct hydraulic tests, and their findings resulted in the Eye of Water, placed into operation in 1968. The surrounding pavilion was designed by Victorine and Samuel Homsey, Inc. An even bigger change came about shortly thereafter. Pierre du Pont had designed the southwest corner of the fountain garden with an arched iron trellis to extend the pumphouse wall. The nine bays were covered with vines arching over curved “sleigh” fountain basins.
Although it was later said that Mr. du Pont had never really finished this corner of the garden, early drawings prove that the trellis was included from the start. By the 1960s, however, it was deemed too difficult to grow plants effectively on the structure. The freestanding trellis was removed in 1965. The Wilmington, DE architectural firm of Wason, Tingle, and Brust (successor to E. William Martin’s firm so favored by Pierre du Pont) designed the building extension and plaza, which was finished by 1970. The project included two new bridges over the Lower Canal to permit more direct access through the garden. This was followed by a major replumbing of the Main Fountains from September 1970 until June 1972. Almost 11,000 people visited on the day of the wellpublicized final display before the 22-month fountain shutdown. Included were new wiring, motor starters, some replacement fountain light lenses, and additional Indiana and Italian limestone. The upgrades continued until 1977 with the unanticipated
Above: The Sleigh Basins in 1968 after the trellis was removed. Photo by Eugene L. DiOrio. Gift of Eugene L. DiOrio. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives. Opposite Top: The arched trellis in its heyday, September 22, 1956. Photo by Eugene L. DiOrio. Gift of Eugene L. DiOrio. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives. Opposite Bottom: Arched iron trellis in March 1965, prior to removal. Photo by Gottlieb Hampfler. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
Plaza and Balustrade Extension, 1972. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
Left: Xerox photo hand colored to visually plot 1 of 30 scenes of 1-minute color combinations for 1980 show. As colors were from magic markers, subtle interactions could not be communicated. Below: Schematic devised by Colvin Randall, here filled in for 23rd scene of a 1980 show. The 51 vertical bars correspond to 51 potentiometers on the Century Lighting C-Cards. Opposite: Fountain script for 37 seconds of the 2002 show. Handwritten numbers at far left indicate times when musical elements noted in the adjacent column occur. Fountain effects are written in the middle and color combinations are in circles to the right. From this sketch, the resulting computer commands were keyed in as shown. Jet commands were usually given 2 seconds ahead of the desired effect to allow for valves to change.
replacement of the 36-foot-long header, a giant pipe in the Pumphouse that supplied all the booster pumps with water. The four main valves controlling water from the hilltop Eye reservoir were also replaced. In March 1971, famed California landscape architect Thomas Church was engaged to advise on long-range planning, garden improvement, and visitor circulation. He proposed re-working the Conservatory observation esplanade and adding a new terrace connecting the Lower Canal to the three-arched loggia centered on the south fountain wall. Architect Richard Phillips Fox from Newark, DE prepared the detailed plans. The terraces were completed in mid 1973 and were the last major hardscape changes. But the garden continued to evolve in other ways. Pierre du Pont was a passionate music lover, and he embraced the latest technology to make music accessible on a daily basis through pianos, organs, and a carillon that all could be played automatically via paper rolls. So it is not surprising that he agreed to fund an invention to synchronize music with colored light, the creation of Mary Hallock Greenewalt, sister of Pierre’s sister-in-law Mrs. William K. du Pont. The resulting “color organ,” used for a luminous piano
recital at Longwood in 1926, was acclaimed yet beset with problems; the full story was told in Issue 291 (Summer 2015) of the Longwood Chimes. In 1930, the General Electric Company tried to interest Mr. du Pont in their electronic dimming system for the Main Fountains, noting “the future possibility of synchronizing lights with music, on which our radio engineers are already working, and the immediate possibility of setting up a scene during one color symphony and the initiation of the second complete symphony at the flick of a switch.” But he thought it too complicated for “casual” use. It is likely that Pierre visited the 1933–34 Chicago World’s Fair and the 1939–40 New York World’s Fair, both of which featured illuminated musical fountains. In 1941, he responded to a suggestion that music be incorporated with Longwood’s displays, noting “We have had a number of similar suggestions…. After a number of trials the attempt was given up, as the relation between the color combination and the music could not be made effective…. we made several experiments on making the water move in rhythm. It was interesting for a short time, but we found our apparatus inadequate for a long performance, which, moreover, seemed to get tedious after
continued applications.” Following his death, the idea was discussed again in 1960, 1973, and 1977. Finally, in 1980 music was added to the fountains. The concept was developed by staff member Colvin Randall, who first enjoyed musical fountains as a child at Wanamaker’s in the late 1950s and as a teenager at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. Randall had played complex pipe organs for 15 years, so coordinating fountains to music was relatively easy. From 1980 to 1983, musical shows were performed using cue sheets keyed to the 1966 lighting console. Around 1980, Richard Gray from R.A. Gray Inc., of San Diego visited Longwood by chance, saw the fountains, and proposed automating them using his show control equipment. His computers were installed by 1984, permitting infinite jet and color control within the limits of the existing plumbing and wiring. The programs were scripted using two basic commands: SWITCH for the jets, and FADE for the lights. Hundreds of hand-typed commands were assembled by the computer into a complete show, synchronized to music using a SMPTE time code. It may seem complicated, but it worked like a charm. The original computer was replaced in 25
2002 by its successor, “System i,” a much faster Windows-based product developed by Robert Harvey from The White Rabbit Company but with the same command structure. The soundtracks chosen to accompany the shows evolved over the years from French baroque “garden music” written for Versailles to Russian romantic masterpieces (Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff), patriotic Sousa scores, Gershwin, Big Band, movie music, and pop. Very few, if any, presenters elsewhere have dared to produce halfhour fountain shows devoted solely to one composer, such as to Khachaturian, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Stravinsky, or Wagner. Single-themed shows have also included ABBA, the Beatles, Leonard Bernstein, and Elton John. The icing on Longwood’s fountain cake has no doubt been fireworks. Pierre du Pont was fascinated with pyrotechnics but presented only six large displays at the Gardens up through 1930 and never with fountains. He probably thought
A performance by the Delaware Symphony on September 17, 1989, for a Southern Governors’ Conference dinner hosted by Delaware Governor Mike Castle was the first time the fountains had been used with a live orchestra. The nextto-last piece was the 1812
Overture (shown here with mega-bengales pyrotechnics illuminating the trees) using live cannons that temporarily knocked out the orchestra’s sound system. That was followed by the Stars and Stripes. Both pieces were coordinated by the conductor listening to a prerecorded
soundtrack thru headphones, which, unfortunately only for him, was off-key with the orchestra but which controlled the fountains and fireworks. The results were spectacular. All photos this page and opposite by Larry Albee.
his “liquid fireworks” were sufficiently spectacular by themselves. A half century later, in 1979, Longwood staff members attended a Fête de Nuit at Versailles and were impressed with the potential for combining fireworks with fountains. Discussions began that winter with the Vineland Fireworks Company from New Jersey. A few test effects were tried one evening after closing. On June 14, 1980 (Flag Day), the first fireworks and fountain show ever at Longwood was presented (without music) in the Main Fountain Garden. A second show (with recorded carillon music) was staged on August 16. Three shows set to orchestral music were held in 1981, and since then three to six shows (and 10 in 2006) have been scheduled each year. From 1980 to 1983, the fireworks were supplied by Vineland, initially synchronized from the fountain control room using walkie-talkie cues, then by voice cues on one track of a stereo tape. The French company Ruggieri designed and fired the shows from 1984 to 1992, using many of the same low-
level effects and Roman candle techniques they employed at Versailles. Two highlights were always a stunning illumination of the hillside and trees behind the fountains using intensely bright mega-bengales flares, and a French-style bouquet finale building from the ground up to a breathtaking conclusion. Beginning in 1984, cues were signaled with a light in the firing room triggered by the fountain computer. Subsequently a timecode was sent directly to the fireworks control box. From 1993 to 2006, Longwood’s displays were produced by Pyrotechnology, from Boston. The company, founded in 1980 by Ken Clark, was known especially for its Fourth of July fireworks productions on Boston’s Charles River Esplanade in conjunction with the annual Boston Pops holiday concert. From 2002 to 2006, International Fireworks of Douglassville, PA presented additional displays in the Gardens. From 2006 to 2011, Celebration Fireworks of Emmaus, PA produced special shows for
TV broadcasts and New Year’s Eve festivities at Longwood. Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks of Loveland, OH fired the major summer displays from 2007 to 2009, then Arthur Rozzi Pyrotechnics from Ohio took over in 2010; coincidentally, they custom manufactured many of the shells used by Pyrotechnology in previous years. In total, more than 150 fireworks shows were presented at Longwood from 1980 through 2014. Yet despite all the spectacle and acclaim, the Main Fountain Garden had seen better days. Repairs were required more frequently. The southwest fountain wall pool was redone in 1987 with new tile, but soon thereafter the entire façade and terrace above were cordoned off for safety. Underground pipes would break, particularly in an area humorously named The Zipper southwest of the Lower Canal that had to be dug up repeatedly. Other breaks flooded the main supply pump motors. The limestone was falling apart. The handwriting was on the wall—it was time to completely rebuild.
Opposite: The Kennett Symphony of Chester County performing Fountains from The Century Garden by Robert Maggio specially commissioned for and performed on Longwood’s 100th birthday, July 20, 2006. The fountains were programmed with “wait” commands which were overridden manually when milepost measures were reached in the notated musical score. The closest six Upper Canal jets were capped shut.
Above: The Philadelphia Orchestra performing Sousa’s The Stars and Stripes Forever on June 28, 2008. The fountain program again used “wait” commands, but the conductor performed the piece faster than a previously submitted recording used for timing, so the synchronization was a bit behind since it was possible to hold back the fountains but not speed them up using “wait” commands. The entire Upper Canal was kept off but was partially turned on for subsequent fireworks.
In the next issue of the Longwood Chimes: New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project.
A Giant Among the Jets
How a cross section from a Giant Sequoia came to be displayed in the Main Fountain Garden from the 1930s to 1985.
Mr. du Pont wrote that the section arrived safely.… and “a preliminary count showed 1,600 rings, which is a very great age compared to trees in this part of the country, although probably only middle aged compared to California trees.” 28
One of the more unusual aspects of the Main Fountain Garden was nestled in the southeast corner of the lower garden—a cross section slab cut from a Giant Sequoia, Sequoiadendron giganteum, that was displayed there from the 1930s to 1985. Pierre du Pont of course had a great love for trees, and when he visited California in 1917 he was captivated by the supertall coastal redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). A decade later, in 1928, he visited Arizona and met the director of that University’s Observatory, Andrew Douglass, who had discovered a correlation between tree rings and the sunspot cycle and became famous for his work in dendrochronology, a method of dating wood by analyzing its growth ring pattern. Douglass knew the management at Sequoia National Park in California from having studied the trees there. Pierre wanted information about “obtaining a section of one of the Sequoia or Redwood trees. Few of our Eastern people have opportunity to visit the coast. I think it would be a constructive and interesting exhibit if a section of one of the large California trees could be set up in or near my conservatories where many people are received as visitors.” However, Pierre had never visited the Park and probably never saw a living Giant Sequoia in its native habitat. John White, the Park’s superintendent, wrote that the staff was “indeed flattered” by Pierre’s desire to display a cross section of a “California Big Tree.” White thought an 11-foot-diameter section would be the largest they could move. He also suggested putting markers on the slab to record important historical events, which Pierre thought “will add greatly to the interest of visitors.” White sent photos showing a possible donor log and how they display a slab in the Park. Similar sections had been sent two years earlier around the world, including to San Francisco, Hawaii, Texas, Washington DC, Sweden, China, and Paris, where it can still be seen today in the National Museum of Natural History in the Jardin des Plantes. Longwood’s section came from a 290foot tree, 15.5 feet at the base, and about 2,100 years old that had fallen naturally in 1916. The section was sawed about 100 feet from the base. The tree grew in the second largest remaining grove of Big Trees, The Giant Forest, in Sequoia National Park at an elevation of 6,500 feet. The section and surplus bark were shipped by rail in June 1929. Pierre was charged $110; transportation from California to
Mendenhall Station, PA was extra. Movies and still photos of the cutting and moving were taken at Pierre’s expense, but the movies didn’t turn out. The photos he retained are probably of another tree from an earlier cutting. Mr. du Pont wrote that the section arrived safely and was being saturated with oil to prevent cracking. He noted that “a preliminary count showed 1,600 rings, which is a very great age compared to trees in this part of the country, although probably only middle aged compared to California trees.” Pierre was so interested that he subsequently requested a section of the 15foot base of that tree, cut into two sections to aid transit. Unfortunately, Mr. White replied that they were unable to procure a suitable 15-foot section but would be on the lookout for another example in the future. The section was mounted in the Main Fountain Garden in the 1930s. In 1951, a protective iron fence was added to keep visitors from touching the wood. In 1985, the round was removed from the wall to halt deterioration, soaked in wood preservative for three months, air dried for another three months, then sanded to improve the surface appearance. Occasionally it has since been displayed for limited periods. There are 15 dates marked, from 312 when Constantine gave state sponsorship to Christianity, to 1492 and 1776, to Pierre du Pont’s birth in 1870 and the start of World War I in 1914. Interestingly, Mr. du Pont took on the challenge of growing Giant Sequoias at Longwood in the New Arboretum (today known as Conifer Knoll) south of the Main Fountains. His efforts were surprisingly successful, but that is another story!
Written on the back: â€œLowering the severed section onto the truck. Heavy timbers used to prevent the section from breaking in half of its own weight." Photo probably taken in the mid 1920s. This is likely not a photo of cutting the section destined for Longwood. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
Moving the Longwood sequoia round for restoration and storage, 1985. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
This photo of a cross section displayed at Sequoia National Park was sent to Pierre du Pont in 1929 as an example of how markers could be used to note historic moments in human history. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
The sequoia section on display at Longwood, 1957. This view looks east, with the Turtle Pool and fountain wall to the right and the Rose and Topiary Gardens above in the distance. Photo by Eugene L. DiOrio. Gift of Eugene L. DiOrio. Longwood Gardens Library & Archives.
Restored Italian limestone fountain mask. Main Fountain Garden Pumphouse, south wall.
As our Fountain Revitalization Project nears completion, our trusted partners at Dan Lepore & Sonsâ€”who were charged with cataloging, cleaning, conserving, and repairing more than 4,000 individual artifactsâ€”are now nearing completion on the delicate work of reinstalling the stone. Photographer Sam Markey documents the beauty of this reinvigorated Italian limestone as it was set back into position. Photographs by Sam Markey
The New Stone Age
Sculpture is key to the Main Fountain Gardenâ€™s character, lending a unique and intimate quality. Each hand-carved stone is one-of-a-kind and tells a story of both the designerâ€™s aesthetic as well as the artisanâ€™s hand.
Left and above: Detail and overall view, restored Italian limestone pedestal and urn.
Overleaf: Restored Italian limestone shell basin and pedestal.
The cleaning process alone revealed stunning, intricate details that have not been seen for decades.
Above: Detail, restored Italian limestone urn. Opposite: Restored Italian limestone pedestal and urn.
An Entertaining Tradition A behind-the-scenes look at our Performing Arts department reveals the business behind the art. By Lynn Schuessler
Photography by Daniel Traub
Guests take their seats in the Exhibition Hall prior to an evening performance by Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, January 2015.
What do Trout Fishing in America and the U.S. Marine Band have in common? They appeared on stage at Longwood and people loved them. And when Priscilla Johnson booked them to perform, she reeled in an audience —not only for a concert, but also for our Gardens. As Performing Arts Coordinator from 1986 to 2003, Johnson expanded the Longwood lineup with national and international artists, raising the curtain on some 400 shows a year. “I was here day and night and weekends and I loved it,” she says. She added a chamber music series and a dance series, delighted families with summer Ice Cream Concerts, and put the festivity into Chrysanthemum Festival with ensembles that celebrated Eastern art and culture. Johnson’s innovation was grounded in the tradition of the Gardens, using Mr. du Pont’s wonderfully nontraditional spaces: the Italian Water Garden, the Rose Arbor, the Conservatory Terrace. It was also grounded in community, supported by a bedrock of local talent and the audiences they brought with them. “Of course, you can’t do this alone,” says Johnson. She credits the entire Longwood staff, including then intern Emily Moody, who became a champion for the arts when a tax referendum cut art and music at her high school. Ever since, Emily has promised herself that “the arts will have a business sense.” Today, as Assistant Manager, Moody creates new programs for Longwood’s three resident instruments. At the 2013 inaugural International Organ Competition, Emily was moved to tears by the music of South Korea’s Jinhee Kim—because of its beauty, and because her own hard work had made it possible. Moody is now at work on two more Longwood firsts: next summer’s Organ Academy, giving students the chance to learn from local and visiting organists; and September’s Carillon Festival. Such programs support Longwood’s mission for both the arts and education. And the artists themselves often play an integral role. Recently, string trio Time Pre-show soundcheck in the Open Air Theatre.
“Each venue is a display area that we outﬁt for Performing Arts shortly before an event, and then have Garden-ready for guests the next day. And each space presents its own challenge.” —Brady Gonsalves, Production Manager
The Open Air Theatre’s wrought iron gates provide a delicate backdrop for the Taj Mahal Trio’s instruments. Above: Performing Arts Attendant Jacalyn Facciolo putting the final touches on the Theatre prior to the show.
Above: Stage lighting truss nestled among the Theatre’s distinct Arborvitae trees. Left: Performing Arts Manager Tom Warner confers with audio technician Rob Tauscher from Bauder Audio.
Intermission in the Open Air Theatre between performances by Grammynominated blues singer Bettye LaVette and the critically acclaimed blues legend Taj Mahal and his Trio. September, 2016.
Recently, string trio Time for Three held Master Classes at nearby West Chester University and then invited students to their Longwood concertâ€”making music late into the night, and far into the future. West Chester University students enjoying an evening performance in the Exhibition Hall by string trio Time for Three.
Right: Time for Three performing in the Exhibition Hall, February 2016.
Left: Guests taking their seats prior to a performance in the Exhibition Hall, February 2016. Below: Time for Three double-bassist Ranaan Meyer during soundcheck in the Exhibition Hall.
for Three held Master Classes at nearby West Chester University and then invited students to their Longwood concert— making music late into the night, and far into the future. For Performing Arts Manager Tom Warner, the future is his business. He’d been booking A-list artists for 10 years at Philadelphia’s Kimmel Center when Longwood President and CEO Paul Redman extended a challenge: “Can we do that here? Can we take Performing Arts at Longwood to another level?” Now in his sixth year, Warner schedules artists up to two years in advance, swearing by “the vibe of live—I don’t often book an artist I haven’t seen. And I’m here for every performance—watching the audience, reading the surveys.” That mix of intuition and audience outreach has paid off. Last summer, Mexican singer-songwriter Natalia Lafourcade brought new guests to our Gardens, and her performance was featured on WHYY’s On Tour. “One of the challenges is that we’re open 365 days a year as a public garden,” says Warner. “It’s not just a stage. There’s a lot of sensitivity to horticulture and the needs of guests.” And there’s always the weather. “YoYo Ma was here on a clear perfect night and the anticipation was amazing. When Amy Grant came, the weather delayed the start. We had 1,500 people in the Visitor Center and the Conservatory. But they stayed and someone found a stack of towels and handed them out—the audience was ecstatic about the concert and the treatment they received.” Production Manager Brady Gonsalves understands the needs of the Gardens. “Each venue is a display area that we outfit for Performing Arts shortly before an event, and then have Garden-ready for guests the next day. And each space presents its own challenge.” His trade involves countless hours of practice and brilliant improvisation. Take the Exhibition Hall. It’s the space guaranteed to make artists’ jaws drop. To Gonsalves, it’s an echo box of glass, marble, and steel. But his team, including some of the best sound people he’s ever worked with, precisely position delay
Pierre du Pont loved to host the premier artists of his day— Martha Graham, John Philip Sousa, Eugene Ormandy. Since his ﬁrst Open Air Theatre garden party in 1914, Performing Arts at Longwood has showcased both tradition and innovation. In addition to serving as resident organist, from 1956–1978, Clarence Snyder presented occasional instrumental and choral concerts. Upon his retirement, Audrey Baur, Longwood’s ﬁrst Performing Arts coordinator (1978–1986), built upon a program of perennial favorites—organ concerts, the Savoy Company, and the Brandywiners—that continues to this day.
Above: Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits performing in the Exhibition Hall, January 2015. Left: Guests enjoying a performance in the Exhibition Hall by Oliver Mtukudzi and the Black Spirits, January 2015.
The Brandywiners performing in the Open Air Theatre, July 2014.
Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar performing in the Exhibition Hall, April 2012.
Below: Bettye LaVette performing in the Open Air Theatre, September 2016.
speakers in the audience to create a rounded, clear sound. For Open Air Theatre concerts, the production team builds a trussed roof system over the stage the day before an event, which takes seven to nine hours, then takes it down the next day. “We do it every time. And the OAT is 100 years old, so we do ‘care and feeding’ with sound systems and lighting until it becomes the next big project.” The big project now is the Main Fountain Garden, a new creative outlet for Gonsalves. He tweaks some settings for a 2017 Fireworks & Fountains show— using state-of-the-art software, while the fountains spring to action on a 3D visualizer. It might look easy, but Gonsalves must program up to 8,000 individual pumps, nozzles, valves, and lights against a music timeline. “It’s overwhelming … we’re learning as we go,” he says. Warner puts things in perspective. “At the end of the day, it’s nice to see audiences leaving with a smile.” He also treasures the thank-yous from performers—especially the note from jazz great Wynton Marsalis that said, “you treated us well, the audience was nice.” Now it’s Warner’s turn to smile: “That gives you a good feeling all over.” 47
After 46 years of service, Irénée du Pont, Jr., retires from the Longwood Board of Trustees.
Right: Irénée on the Indian. Below: Irénée in the lab.
Irénée at Longwood Gardens, November 3, 2016. Photo by Daniel Traub.
“I have a quote from John Ruskin, philosopher: ‘I believe the ﬁrst test of a truly great man is his humility.’” —Matt Brown
Irénée du Pont, Jr.’s first recollection of visiting his Uncle Pierre’s Longwood estate was in 1926 when, as a 6-year-old, he came to see a concert in the Open Air Theatre featuring the US Marine Band and John Philip Sousa. He remembers the bright stage lights, the colorful uniforms, and one of his siblings lifting him up to sit on the stone wall on the east side of the theatre, providing a perfect vantage point to take it all in. In 1970, du Pont joined the Board of the Longwood Foundation, which at the time oversaw the operation of the Gardens. For the next 46 years, he again had a perfect vantage point, but this time to help guide Longwood through decades of change, challenge, and growth. Upon his retirement from the Board of Trustees on November 3, 2016, at age 96, his fellow Trustees and the Senior Team paid tribute to this extraordinary man, affectionately known as Brip. We share a few of those tributes.
“You have been a great friend and mentor to me since I joined the Board of Longwood Gardens and without your knowledge, wisdom, honesty, and humor, Longwood would not be where it is today. ” —Peg Stabler
“Serving on the same Board with Daddy has been a privilege, an education, great fun, and all my sisters are jealous!” —Cindy du Pont Tobias
“A true role model in wisdom and humor; as I learned early on…never, ever follow Brip as a speaker.” —Greg Wolcott
“… You represent a true connection to our founder, and it is inspiring to all of us. The way you share your wisdom with eloquence and wit cannot be rivaled and your contribution to Longwood cannot be overstated. Thank you so much.” —Sharon Loving
“We are grateful for your wise words, generous heart, and occasional impish tendencies, all of which have inspired us and honored the legacy of your Uncle Pierre.” —Robin Morgan
“You have taught us all so much about Longwood. Your leadership is embodied in the values of Longwood and a primary reason for our success.”
“You always have the perfect word for the perfect moment. Thank you.” —Jane Pepper
“At a time when [he] was probably his most busy, he gave considerable time to the formation of the Longwood Graduate Program by sitting on our Selection Committee and I can remember his counsel and the amount of time it took to read the materials that I distributed to him, and I’ve always been grateful that he helped the program get off to a great start.” —Dick Lighty
Irénée and his wife Barbara.
Irénée on a cross-country motorcycle journey.
No. 294 Winter 2017
Cover Italian limestone mask, Main Fountain Garden, one of 4,000 individual artifacts meticulously removed, restored, and re-installed by our conservation team at Dan Lepore & Sons. December 21, 2016. Photo by Sam Markey. Back Cover Pre-restoration photo of Italian limestone mask featured on front cover. Photo by David Ward. Inside Covers Fountain Stone illustration by Rebecca Clarke.
Editorial Board Aimee Beam Marnie Conley Patricia Evans Steve Fenton Julie Landgrebe Colvin Randall NoĂŤl Raufaste David Sleasman James S. Sutton Matt Taylor, Ph.D. Brian W. Trader, Ph.D.
Contributors This Issue Longwood Staff and Volunteer Contributors Kristina Aguilar Plant Records Manager William Hill Volunteer Photographer Maureen McCadden Digital Resource Specialist David Sleasman Library & Information Services Coordinator Judy Stevenson Archivist David Ward Volunteer Photographer Other Contributors Larry Albee Photographer Rebecca Clarke Illustrator Eugene L. DiOrio Photographer Sam Markey Photographer Lynn Schuessler Copyeditor Daniel Traub Photographer
Distribution Longwood Chimes is mailed to Longwood Gardens Staff, Pensioners, Volunteers, and Gardens Preferred and Premium Level Members, and is available electronically to all Longwood Gardens Members via longwoodgardens.org. Longwood Chimes is produced twice annually by and for Longwood Gardens, Inc.
Contact As we went to print, every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of all information contained within this publication. Contact us at email@example.com. ÂŠ 2017 Longwood Gardens. All rights reserved.
“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” —Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol
Longwood Gardens is the living legacy of Pierre S. du Pont, inspiring people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education, and the arts.
Longwood Gardens P.O. Box 501 Kennett Square, PA 19348 longwoodgardens.org
Gardens change, day to day and season to season, relying on both Mother Nature’s whim and man’s deliberate work. While change is inevitable,...
Published on Feb 17, 2017
Gardens change, day to day and season to season, relying on both Mother Nature’s whim and man’s deliberate work. While change is inevitable,...