Home Sweet Historic Home

The Old Manse
Text by Marina Davalos

On Saturday, May 19, 2018, the Trustees will hold its 5th annual free open house day, Home Sweet Home. The event started as a way to kick off the beginning of the house and garden tour season for the properties. Ten historical properties throughout Massachusetts will be open to the public, affording the opportunity to tour and participate in activities at the various historic homes and cultural sites. There’ll be tours, art installations and activities for the kids. “Each year, we have a different theme,” says Trustees’ director of education and public programming Kristen Swanberg. This year’s theme is The Art of the Garden: Inspiration Grows Here.

Castle Hill at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Massachusetts, will have guided tours through its magnificent landscaped gardens, plus the opening of a new art installation by Berlin-based Polish artist, Alicja Kwade, as part of the Trustees’ Art & the Landscape initiative that began in 2016. Kwade designed her piece, “Tunnel Teller,” specifically for the site of Castle Hill’s former hedge maze. Kwade, as well as independent curator Pedro Alonzo, who helped launch the initiative, will be on site to provide tours of the installation during the opening.

While the Trustees maintain 116 Massachusetts historical properties, the ten participating in the Home Sweet Home open house event are the organization’s original historical spots, according to Swanberg. The Trustees, the first conservation nonprofit of its kind in the United States and the largest in Massachusetts, was founded in 1891 by landscape architect Charles Eliot. His desire was to create open and natural spaces for the public to enjoy. “These historical gardens provide a living history of horticulture in Massachusetts,” says Swanberg. “The idea with Home Sweet Home is to spread the word far and wide.”

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