Construction Today - September/October 2017 - 96

Institutional | BANCROFT CONSTRUCTION CO. - LONGWOOD GARDENS

Preserving History

BANCROFT IS RESTORING THE MOST ICONIC FEATURE WITHIN LONGWOOD GARDENS. BY TIM O'CONNOR

had to ensure every part of the infrastucture
ยป Bancroft
installation and repair work kept with the Main

Bancro Construction Co. -
Longwood Gardens

Fountain Garden's original structure.

I

n 1906, Pierre du Pont, a 36-year-old
entrepreneur and philanthropist,
purchased a former arboretum in
southeast Pennsylvania to save the
trees from a lumber mill. In the years that
followed, du Pont used the grounds to satisfy his love of gardening and by the 1920s it
had blossomed into a full public conservatory call Longwood Gardens.
Among those gardens was the Main
Fountain Garden, a collection of impressive
fountains that could shoot 10,000 gallons
of water a minute 130 feet into the air. It
quickly became one of the centerpieces of
Longwood Gardens and has been a mustsee for visitors ever since.
Protecting that history for the next generation of guests took a careful touch and
a skilled construction manager that could
blend the innards and mechanical features

96

CONSTRUCTION-TODAY.COM SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2017

of a modern fountain with the classical style
of the nearly 90-year-old design. Longwood
Gardens found that construction manager
in Bancroft Construction Co.
"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience
to witness the transformation of the Main
Fountain Garden," Vice President of Preconstruction Mike Petka, who served as senior
project manager, says. "From the research
and exploration early on, to the subterranean world we concealed, to the finishing
touches of the fountain display, it felt like
we were making history and something we
would all be proud of forever."
The project involved the installation of
9,000 cubic yards of concrete, 1,4000 linear
feet of tunnels, five miles of fountain pipes
and nearly 340,000 gallons of underground
water storage. Every part of the infrastructure installation and repair work had to be

www.bancro construction.com
* Project cost: $90 million
* Location: Kenne Square, Pa.
* Employees on ite at peak: 172
* Scope of work: Fountain estoration

"Understanding e history of
e fountains was critical to e
success of e project."
- Mike Petka, vice president of preconstruction

done in keeping with the original structure,
a challenging feat. "Understanding the
history of the fountains was critical to the
success of the project; bringing the fountains into the 21st century while preserving
Pierre du Pont's vision," Petka continues.
Longwood Gardens and Bancroft Construction have a shared history. In 2014,
the company built the attraction's newest


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Construction Today - September/October 2017

Contents
Construction Today - September/October 2017 - Cover1
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