Free Historic Sites around Boston

I’ll copy this right from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, because they say it best. But the gist is that they gave $1 million to 14 Boston-area sites, and now those sites are opening up for free or reduced admission on Saturday, September 17. Got it? Now read more.

Don’t miss Partners in Preservation Open House Day-September 17, 2011

Two years after American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Partners in Preservation program gave $1 million to historic sites throughout Greater Boston, you now have the chance to see first-hand how these historic places are thriving.

On September 17, fourteen historic places that received grant funds from American Express through the highly successful Partners in Preservation program will be open to the public for free or reduced-price admission. Sites will feature musical performances, children’s activities, and lectures and tours focusing on recent restoration projects. Don’t miss the opportunity to see how $1 million and community support have catalyzed the successful preservation of historic sites throughout Greater Boston.

For more information on this event and itineraries to help you make your way around Greater Boston on September 17, please visit our website at www.partnersinpreservation.com/Boston.

Participating historic places include:

  • Edgell Memorial Library (Framingham, MA)
  • José Mateo Ballet Theatre (Cambridge, MA)
  • Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House (Concord, MA)
  • Lowell’s Boat Shop (Amesbury, MA)
  • Mount Auburn Cemetery (Cambridge, MA)
  • Museum of African American History (Boston, MA)
  • Old North Church (Boston, MA)
  • Old Ship Meeting House (Hingham, MA)
  • Paragon Carousel (Hull, MA)
  • Paul Revere House (Boston, MA)
  • Salem Old Town Hall (Salem, MA)
  • Schooner Adventure (Gloucester, MA)
  • United First Parish Church, “Church of the Presidents” (Quincy, MA)
  • Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture (Boston, MA)

About Partners in Preservation

Partners in Preservation is a program of American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation designed to help preserve historic places, engage the community in preservation, drive tourism and stimulate economic development. The program also seeks to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of  their communities.

Beginning September 20th, communities around the country will once again be asked to help American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation decide which historic sites should receive funding; this time in the Twin Cities. To join the vote, ‘Like’ Partners in Preservation on Facebook.

Cleanup Day at Chesterwood

I can’t be the only person who thinks this sounds like a ton of fun, right? If anyone is interested in going, comment here or email me and I’ll coordinate rides.

Volunteers Needed!

Chesterwood photo by Paul Rocheleau(27)edited.jpg

Please join us for a Volunteer Clean Up Day at Chesterwood in Stockbridge, MA on Saturday, May 21st , 2011 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (rain date Sunday, May 22nd).

Space is limited so please register early!  Click here to RSVP today.

Projects include gardening, light landscaping, cleaning and repairs to the French-designed outdoor space called the “Circle” and the Woodlands Walks. Volunteers should be willing to work, able-bodied and over 18 years of age. Tools and gloves provided.

Volunteer Day is free, and volunteers will be treated to a tour of the property, lunch and a thank you reception on the Studio Piazza.  Volunteer Day is sponsored by Chesterwood and the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Northeast Office.

Chesterwood, a Historic Site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and National Historic Landmark located in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, is the country home, studio and gardens of America’s foremost sculptor of public monuments, Daniel Chester French (1850-1931). Best known as the sculptor of the Minute Man in Concord, MA, and Abraham Lincoln for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, French lived and worked at Chesterwood nearly every summer for over thirty years. Chesterwood is the home of one of the largest collections of works by a single American sculptor.  For more information, please visit www.Chesterwood.org or call us at 413.298.3579 ext. 25210.

Attire:

Volunteers should come dressed to work outside and prepared for the weather on May 21st.  Proper clothing to prevent sun and tick exposure is recommended.  Sturdy footwear is encouraged.

Lodging:

Volunteers interested in coming and staying in the Stockbridge area, consider our nearest National Trust Historic Hotel of America, The Red Lion Inn. Special Chesterwood volunteer discount! Reserve a room at the published rate on Saturday, May 21st, and add Friday or Sunday night for 20% off.  To take advantage of this special offer, please call 413.298.1690 or email reservations@redlioninn.com and ask for the “Volunteer Special.”  For more information on the Inn, visit www.redlioninn.com.

Click here to RSVP

This Place Matters

The National Trust for Historic Preservation has a neat project up on its website: This Place Matters.

“This Place Matters” is a simple Google Map on which any visitor to the site can pin a flag, marking a place that matters to them.

The NTHP says “It could be your favorite local diner or a treasured neighborhood movie palace.  How about the school you walked to as a kid; or even your corner grocery store?  It could be a project you’ve taken on yourself, or one being championed by a local preservation society, Main Street organization or other community group.”

At its most zoomed out, the map is a riot of colored flags – most of the eastern seaboard is barely visible. Zoom in and there are all sorts of empty spaces. Click on a flag to read about a spot, who submitted it, and why it matters to them. The NTHP hopes to use this map as a tool to encourage preservation – to identify spots in need of saving and to spark a group consciousness and conversation about why historic preservation is important. It might have been an even more powerful experience if there were a way for multiple people to comment on one flag – to react and converse with each other about places that matter to them. It doesn’t appear that Google allows that sort of thing, however.

There are some really wonderful places on the map, but there’s a lot more that needs adding! So, Tufts museum community – what places matter to you?