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



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