The Wakefield Estate from Private to Public Garden: A Preservation Approach for a Cultural Landscape
Historic Preservation and Conservation
Gardens and arboreta most often begin as private places. Sound preservation and conservation principles are necessary to transform these gardens into protected and well- managed public gardens. The goal of the Wakefield Charitable Trust is to open the Wakefield Estate as a public garden to further the mission of education and community engagement. Opening a public garden requires a landscape management strategy. The challenge of this process is to maintain the Estateʼs character defining elements while allowing public access. The purpose of this thesis is to develop a preservation approach for the Wakefield Estate that will protect the historic character of the landscape and allow the property to adapt to the new use as a public entity. In order to achieve this goal a wide range of resources on cultural landscape preservation methodology were consulted. Research of the 300- year evolution of the Wakefield Estate was undertaken and an existing conditions survey was conducted. Site visits and interviews at public historic gardens and arboreta throughout the United States provided insight into successful preservation practice at other public institutions. The results of this research is the creation of the Wakefield Estate landscape management plan. When implemented this plan will protect the historic resources of the property while allowing public access.