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Sharon, MA – May 15, 2013 – Barbara Erickson, President and CEO of The Trustees of Reservations (The Trustees) announced that the statewide conservation organization has been able to permanently protect key portions of the Ames family’s Langwater Estate through the purchase of conservation and historic preservation restrictions in Easton’s historic and architecturally significant village. “This achievement was made possible thanks to our close collaboration with the Oliver Ames family, the Town of Easton, Historic New England, and the Massachusetts Historic Commission and the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs,” said Ms. Erickson.
The Langwater Estate protection includes a historic preservation restriction on the iconic stone H. H. Richardson Gate Lodge and 2.6 surrounding acres, as well as a conservation restriction on 13 acres to the south of the Gate Lodge. In addition, long–term deed covenants will cover two reserved building envelopes totaling 3 acres of the estate. The Gate Lodge restriction will be held by Historic New England and the conservation restriction and deed covenants will be held by The Trustees.
The Langwater project is adjacent to the 36-acre Governor Ames Estate – once the home of Oliver Ames who served as Massachusetts 35th governor – which The Trustees acquired in June 2012 as a community-centered park. As approved by the Easton Town Meeting in 2012, the Town of Easton purchased a conservation restriction on the Governor Ames property from The Trustees in March of this year. Funds for that purchase have been provided through the Community Preservation Act and the Massachusetts LAND program.
“We are excited to protect key portions of this beautiful and historic landscape, enhancing the adjacent Governor Ames community park,” says Steve Sloan, The Trustees’ Greater Boston Regional Director. “We are grateful to both the David Ames and Oliver Ames families for their vision and generosity and to the townspeople of Easton for their interest and participation in developing this project, and in making this work possible through the Town’s generous Community Preservation grant.“
“Historic New England recognizes the dedicated care of the Ames Gate Lodge by the Oliver Ames family since its construction according to the designs of H. H. Richardson, and is delighted now to have a formal role in assuring the protection of this nationally-significant building forever through our preservation easement program,” adds Carl R. Nold, President and CEO, Historic New England. “The protection of the Gate Lodge complements the protection of open space and landscape elements by The Trustees of Reservations.”
The Trustees plan an official opening of the Governor Ames Estate property, which is adjacent to the Easton Historical Society and near the popular Easton Children’s Museum, to the public this fall. The property, which features sweeping lawns in an arboretum-like setting, an elegant 19th-century stone stable, an agricultural field, meadows, brook and garden pond – all within walking distance of the North Easton National Historic District – is currently open informally for passive recreation from dawn to dusk. The Trustees will be completing a management and programming plan for The Estate this summer, incorporating input from community sessions held last fall. Public access is welcome on the Governor Ames Estate, but is not available on the Langwater property, which remains private; however, two public tours of Langwater will be arranged annually by The Trustees and Historic New England.
About the Trustees of Reservations
The Trustees of Reservations is the nation’s oldest, statewide land trust and Massachusetts’ largest conservation organization. We were founded by open space visionary Charles Eliot in 1891 to “hold in trust” and care for properties, or “reservations,” of scenic, cultural, and natural significance for current and future generations to enjoy. Supported by more than 100,000 members and donors and thousands of volunteers, The Trustees own and manage 109 spectacular reservations located on more than 26,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. Our reservations range from working farms, historic homesteads and gardens, to community parks, and barrier beaches, and include five National Historic Landmarks and a National Natural Landmark. The Trustees work to promote healthy, active, and green communities through hundreds of annual outreach programs, workshops, and events for all ages. Accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, The Trustees are an established leader in the conservation and preservation movement and model for other land trusts nationally and internationally. One of the largest nonprofits in Massachusetts, The Trustees employ 150 full-time, 49 regular part-time, and 400 seasonal staff with expertise in cultural resources, land protection, education, ecology, conservation, land management, and planning. To find out more or to become a member or volunteer, please contact www.thetrustees.org.
About Historic New England
Historic New England is the oldest, largest, and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. We bring history to life while preserving the past for everyone interested in exploring the New England experience from the seventeenth century to today. Historic New England owns and operates thirty-six historic homes and landscapes spanning five states. We share the region's history through vast collections, publications, programs, museum properties, archives, and stories that document more than 400 years of life in New England. Visit www.HistoricNewEngland.org.