Concord, MA – June 2017 – The Trustees announces it has hired the Concord-based architectural firm Battle Associates, working with Preservation Architects Stan Black and Rick Detwiller, and the Preservation Landscape Architecture Team of Brown, Richardson & Rowe, working with historic landscape consultant Lauren Meier, for the design and construction of a planned Welcome Center at the Old Manse, a National Historic Landmark in Concord. The interpretive design of the planned Welcome Center will be produced by Salem-based firm ObjectIDEA. The Old Manse Welcome Center project, which seeks to improve visitor services with new community and programming space and accessible restrooms, is currently in the research phase. Three public presentations are scheduled to take place over the next several months on June 20, September 19, and November 7, 2017 from 6-7:30PM in the Parish Hall at TriCon Church located at 54 Walden Street in Concord. The meetings will include a project progress update as well allotted time for Q&A and community feedback sessions.
As announced in December 2015, The Trustees was recommended for a prestigious National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge Grant in the amount of $450,000 to help support the project. The organization also secured funding support through a $500,000 Massachusetts Cultural Facilities (MCFF). Both grants are subject to external review under the National Historic Preservation Act to ensure the integrity of the historic site and protection of its surrounding archaeology.
“We are honored to be working with such a talented team of preservation and landscape architecture professionals on this important project,” says Barbara Erickson, Trustees President & CEO. “Their extensive experience working in historically rich areas like Concord will be an asset as we seek to both safeguard this National Historic Landmark and all its treasures while also offering improved access and amenities for our many visitors.”
The Old Manse is one of the country’s most important historic landmarks, serving as the former home and gathering place for some our nation’s most progressive thought leaders and writers from the revolutionary and transcendental movements. The home sits on the banks of the Concord River next to Minuteman National Park overlooking Old North Bridge where the first battle of the American Revolution took place. The former owner and builder of the home, Reverend William Emerson, gathered community members in this home to discuss important issues of the day and is thought to have served in the army himself. His grandson, Ralph Waldo Emerson lived and wrote his famous essay, “Nature” in the Old Manse, and other leading writers including Henry David Thoreau and Nathanial Hawthorne also penned famous works there. Thousands of national and international visitors come to tour the home and property each year with the numbers steadily on the rise.
The Trustees’ goal for the new Welcome Center is to improve overall services and accommodations for visitors while creating more space to properly present and care for the furnishings and collections. Plans include creating essential facilities such as universally accessible restrooms and extended community and interpretive programming space to accommodate visitors and tour groups. The new building will sit on the site of the former barn structure that served the Old Manse for more than 150 years and be built to mimic the original structure in design and scale.
“Our hope is that the new Welcome Center will both serve as a more efficient and accessible gathering place for our visitors while also helping to engage more of the visitors who already walk the Old Manse grounds each year while visiting Minute Man National Historical Park,” adds Guy Hermann, Trustees General Manager for Greater Concord. “We also look forward to the new structure offering our engagement and curatorial teams much needed educational and interpretive space for sharing the fascinating stories of the writers, revolutionaries, and thinkers who once lived and worked here.”
For more information on the public presentations, please contact Guy Hermann, Trustees General Manager for Greater Concord at at email@example.com 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. www.thetrustees.org.