Press release from Greenwich Historical Society:
October 29, 2020
COS COB, CT, October 28, 2020 –The National Trust for Historic Preservation will present the Trustees Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites to the Greenwich Historical Society. The Historical Society is one of nine award winners to be presented by the National Trust during its 2020 Past Forward Online National Preservation Conference this week.
The Trustees Emeritus Award for Historic Site Stewardship recognizes success and innovation in historic preservation, management, and programming at historic sites.
In the late 19th and early 20th century, the Bush-Holley House was the epicenter of Cos Cob in Greenwich, Connecticut – a cradle of American Impressionism. Renowned artists gathered there to paint and share ideas about art and society, but development and the invasion of modern roadways ultimately left the Bush-Holley House isolated and in disrepair. In 1957 the Greenwich Historical Society saved the building and restored it as their headquarters. Through active engagement with the Greenwich community and a varied approach to financial sustainability, the Historical Society has brought the house and barn back to life and created a larger campus by acquiring adjacent properties over time. The sensitive design of its new campus, completed in 2018, protects, restores, and unifies the campus of historic buildings while providing programs that serve the community with exhibits, gardens, public programs, archives, collections storage, and extensive school programs.
The Bush-Holley House is now a member of the Historic Artists, Homes and Studios program of the National Trust. Visitors can explore the area’s role in Northern slavery, wander the Impressionistic Gardens, which inspired a generation of painters, and take in exhibits about immigration, refugees, and women’s suffrage. Through the preservation of historic buildings and development of creative programming, the Greenwich Historical Society is providing the Greenwich community with a needed connection to its rich history.
“This award underscores the importance of preserving historic sites for building strong bridges to the future,” says Debra Mecky, executive director and CEO of the Greenwich Historical Society. “Bush-Holley House and our new campus are architectural gems and an asset for educating our children and the public at large on the important role Greenwich played in America’s development. We are honored to be recognized for our success in preservation and programming initiatives.”
“This year’s Trustees Emeritus Award for Historic Site Stewardship recipient,” said Paul Edmondson, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, “showcases the full breadth of amazing preservation work being done around our nation. The awards ceremony is our chance to highlight the greater good that is served by individuals, nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and corporations that are investing in and enhancing American communities and strengthening the preservation movement. It is an honor to present the Trustees Emeritus Award for Historic Site Stewardship to the Greenwich Historical Society.”
This year’s recipients will be honored at the virtual National Preservation Awards ceremony, hosted by television host and preservationist Bob Vila, on October 29, 2020 as part of PastForward Online 2020. The program will be streamed for free from SavingPlaces.org/Conference.
The National Preservation Awards are bestowed on those whose skill and determination have given new meaning to their communities through preservation of our architectural and cultural heritage. These efforts include citizen attempts to save and maintain important landmarks; companies and crafts people whose work restores the richness of the past; the vision of public officials who support preservation projects and legislation in their communities; and educators and journalists who help Americans understand the value of preservation. The winners of the National Preservation Awards will appear online at http://forum.savingplaces.org/act/preservation-awards.
About the National Trust for Historic Preservation
The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. www.SavingPlaces
About Greenwich Historical Society
Greenwich Historical Society was founded in 1931 to preserve and interpret Greenwich history to strengthen the community’s connection to our past, to each other and to our future. The circa 1730 National Historic Landmark Bush-Holley House witnessed slavery and the American Revolution and became the site of Connecticut’s first American Impressionist art colony from 1890 to 1920. Its landscape and gardens are restored based on documentation from the site’s Impressionist era. The campus also includes a nationally accredited museum, library and archives, a museum store, café, and a community education center. Greenwich Historical Society educates thousands of school children annually and connects visitors to the history of this globally influential community through exhibitions, lectures, programs, and events. It receives no town funding and relies on donations and grants to continue its work in education and preservation. Learn more at greenwichhistory.org.
This press release was produced by Greenwich Historical Society. The views expressed here are the author’s own.