The Trustees Announces that it will suspend its plan to rebuild 18th century barn as a new Welcome Center for Old Manse in Concord

Contact Information

Kristi Perry
Public Relations Director
617.542.7696 x2123
kperry@thetrustees.org

Concord, MADecember 12, 2017 – Today, the Trustees announced that it will end its plans to rebuild an 18th century barn structure to serve as a welcome center for the National Historic Landmark, The Old Manse, in Concord, MA. The organization had been pursuing a rigorous nine-step approvals and permissions process for the reconstruction of the barn structure in order to expand visitor amenities such as bathrooms and indoor orientation space.  

“While we believe that a new welcome center would create greater access to the history, collections, and experiences offered at the Old Manse and would restore the historic landscape of that homestead to its original complex, we do not believe that the building will be approved for construction by the necessary permitting bodies and therefore it is no longer prudent to continue to devote organizational resources to the project,” said Joanna Ballantine, Vice President for the Trustees. 

The Trustees has raised $1.6 million of support for the Welcome Center project including a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s Mass Facilities Fund. The project also received a recommendation for funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Several individual donors have made gifts to support the project. 

The organization, however, will pursue landscape plans as conceived in the Welcome Center project which are focused on the grounds and landscape which abut the Minute Man National Historic Park. During the research and planning for the Welcome Center, The Trustees began working with Brown, Richardson, & Rowe, a landscape architecture firm that created a vision for the surrounding grounds including a tree and shrub replacement plan, and general stewardship improvements such as making the parking lot and walkway ADA compliant. This plan will create new opportunities for visitors to experience the grounds of the site when the house is closed and invite more visitors to enter the house. The firm has experience working on sites with sensitive historic preservation standards. The budget for the new plan is $600,000, and the organization, working with the local community, is in the process of seeking funds toward this new direction. 

For more information about the landscape restoration project, please contact Guy Hermann, General Manager for Greater Concord at ghermann@thetrustees.org or 860.857.7363. 

Founded by landscape architect Charles Eliot in 1891, The Trustees has, for more than 125 years, been a catalyst for important ideas, endeavors, and progress in Massachusetts. As a steward of distinctive and dynamic places of both historic and cultural value, The Trustees is the nation’s first preservation and conservation organization, and its landscapes and landmarks continue to inspire discussion, innovation, and action today as they did in the past. We are a nonprofit supported by members, friends and donors and our more than 115 sites are destinations for residents, members, and visitors alike, welcoming millions of guests annually.