The Master Plan
Introduction | The Team | The Process | Key Findings | The Opportunites
In December, 2009, on the advice of community leaders and professionals in horticulture, economic sustainability, and management of sites of significant cultural value, the Board of Directors of Blithewold Mansion, Gardens & Arboretum selected the nationally recognized firms of Ann Beha Architects of Boston, the Olin Partnership of Philadelphia, Anthony Knerr Associates of New York, and others to prepare Blithewold’s first comprehensive master plan to help the organization plan its future.
Blithewold is recognized by the Garden Conservancy as “one of the best preserved estate gardens and one of the most significant collections of trees in New England ...[It] is putting the highest standards of stewardship in place for the next generation.” Underwritten initially by a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Blithewold’s master plan ─ an eighteen month effort involving board and staff, volunteers, members of the community, representatives of peer organizations, and selected experts ─ consider how to preserve the property’s unique assets and atmosphere of serenity, build its profile in the national arena of heritage tourism, and position itself for continued excellence in preserving its impressive collection of 3,000 trees and other important botanical material, its distinctive buildings with family furnishings, and extensive archives detailing the property’s history.
“Blithewold is one of the Northeast’s premier historic sites open to the public. Recent restoration projects have preserved important historic features at the property, and Blithewold is attracting ever more visitors. The property is beautifully maintained by a small, talented staff and very dedicated volunteers, and has expanded its educational programming especially to families, reaching new audiences of diverse ages and interests. Securing the services of such an impressive team of professionals working to create the site’s first ever comprehensive master plan is a boon for this historic property, for the Town of Bristol, and indeed for Rhode Island,” observes Ted Sanderson, Executive Director of the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission.
The Master Plan team members include:
• Ann Beha Architects
• Shary Page Berg, FASLA
• OLIN, Landscape Architects
• Anthony Knerr & Associates
• ETM Associates LLC
• Altieri Sebor Wieber LLC Consulting Engineers
• Wendy Jessup and Associates, Inc.
• Susan Leidy, Currier Museum of Art, Museum Accreditation Review
• Odeh Engineers, Structural Engineers
• Nitsch Engineering, Civil Engineering
• Davis Langdon, Cost Estimator
Tuesday, November 24
- Friday, January 01
Afternoon Tea in the Dining Room
Friday, November 27
- Sunday, January 03
Christmas at Blithewold, "A Garden for all Seasons"
Friday, November 27
- Friday, January 01
Sparkle! An Outdoor Family Event
Sunday, November 29
Horse-Drawn Holiday Carriage Ride
Tuesday, December 01
Design Demonstration and Holiday Mantle Decorating with Dennis DelSignore
Wednesday, December 02
- Wednesday, December 16
Children's Holiday Story Time
Blithewold Birds: The Familiar Faces of Year-round Residents
(Nov 06, '15)
Blithewold’s grounds are known for its spectacular plant specimens of many different shapes, colors, and varieties. Predictably, as flora and fauna often come hand and hand, Blithewold is home to hundreds of birds during all seasons in the East Bay. The days have begun to shorten and the temperatures are dipping. By now, Blithewold has […]
(Oct 27, '15)
The name Pardee is derived from the French oath par Dieu which was Anglicised to Parde, Pardy, Pardie, and ultimately to Pardieu and Pardee. Around 1530 these families were living in the Normandy region of France. Religious persecution drove the families across the Channel to the south of England, and in the 1580s John Pardee […]
Cranborne Manor, Dorset, England
(Sep 30, '15)
Blithewold Mansion was built in 1907 on the site of an earlier house which burned in the summer of 1906. The new house was designed in an English Country Manor style. It has often been said that the west façade of Blithewold is a copy of an English Country Manor in Dorset, England, and there […]