L3 Success Story — Restoration of Longwood's Orchid House
Posted August 16, 2022
Longwood Gardens announced the reopening of their historic Orchid House as the first symbol of Longwood Reimagined — a transformation of the gardens to open in 2024 — back in February. Since then, many have visited the gardens to view the new display which requires nearly 8,000+ hours of volunteer time per year, plus a full-time Longwood team member.
While the Orchid House underwent a complete renovation (from floors to ceilings and everything in between), many of the characteristics of the space remained the same.
"The original concrete aggregate was matched so well that you'd never even know it wasn't the original. The bronze window framing was cleaned, repaired, and replaced. The tunnels below the space were reworked and a brand-new floor poured. Novel ways to improve the display itself were created, allowing our guests to view our orchid collection like never before," noted Orchid Curator, Greg Griffis, in a blog post announcing the space's reopening.
Additionally, many features that might not stick out to the public eye play an important role in the overall infrastructure of the space — such as the snow-melters on the roof and the new trench drains below the orchids. The orchids are also rotated and changed out each weekday — providing for a new experience each visit.
The restoration of Longwood's Orchid House supports the Appreciate goal in Landscapes3, as it preserves the historic resources and landscapes that define our cultural heritage to inspire the future through tangible connections to our shared past.
In regards to the preservation of the space, Longwood's Communications Specialist, Katie Mobley, says, "Preservation is at the heart of the transportation of our Orchid House, as is attention to detail and a recognition of the yesterdays that are informing the tomorrows of this stories past."