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Chester County Press

Longwood Gardens could provide significant financial support to two adjacent school districts

11/12/2014 10:52AM ● By J. Chambless

Letter to the Editor:

These comments are prompted by the article about renovations at Longwood Gardens, included in the Oct. 22 issue of the Chester County Press. "Understanding and being sensitive to the past" was noted in the article. Mention was also made of Pierre S. duPont. He was an astute businessman and devoted community leader.

Pierre S. duPont secured tax-exempt status for Longwood Gardens in the 1940s. As the $90 million fountain-repair gets underway, remembering Pierre S. duPont’s commitment to the community would seem most fitting. Pierre S. duPont generously donated to local educational needs. I believe that Longwood Gardens, as a living legacy to its founder, can both build for the future, and respect the past, by making significant, annual, financial contributions to our two local school districts that surround the gardens. Longwood Gardens was intimately involved in the realignment of two major roadways (Routes 1 and 52); is now prepared to spend tens of millions of dollars on a fountain fix; and arguably has for-profit elements such as dining facilities, alcohol sales, advertisements in various media, and extensive ticket sales. It would seem that significant financial support of the two adjacent school districts by Longwood Gardens is feasible, would be historically appropriate, and would honor the legacy of Pierre S. duPont. The taxpayers in the Unionville-Chadds Ford and Kennett Consolidated school districts would certainly welcome such support.

Jim DiLuzio

New Garden Township

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