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
Wednesday, May 15
- Wednesday, June 19
Introduction to Watercolor
Thursday, May 23
Tree Mob at the Arnold Arboretum
Saturday, May 25
Behind the Scenes Tour
Marjorie’s dove tree turns 40
(May 16, '13)
It’s a lucky visitor whose gaze turns east along the path between the mansion and the Enclosed Garden, instead of west across the blooming North Garden and Great Lawn to Narragansett Bay. The western view is a compelling one to be sure and even I am caught up short by it every time I walk ...
The Costume Collection
(Jan 07, '13)
Many of you already know about the fabulous collection of gowns and accessories belonging to Bessie Van Wickle McKee that came home to Blithewold last year. Forty-one dresses with accessories, coats, and hats, had been given to the Colonial Dames … Continue reading