West Portico Restoration

The West Portico of Coe Hall is one of the most striking architectural features at Planting Fields, admired and beloved by many who visit us, in every season of the year.  We are excited to be moving forward with a major restoration project to ensure its preservation, in collaboration with our partners at New York State Parks. The Foundation is working with Jan Hird Pokorny Associates (JHPA), a full-service architecture firm specializing in the preservation of historic buildings to assist with the critical work. 

We are thrilled to have been awarded funding to preserve the West Portico through a grant from the Environmental Protection Fund Program for Parks, Preservation and Heritage (EPF).  We know our patrons have missed access to this special place. We anticipate reopening the portico to the public in early 2021. Read more here in our Features.

Cultural Landscape Report

Planting Fields Foundation and NY State Parks have worked collaboratively for decades to ensure the preservation and interpretation of this dynamic and singular estate.  Last year, with the assistance of the preeminent firm in landscape preservation and stewardship, Heritage Landscapes, we completed a Cultural Landscape Report to guide our understanding of the Coe-era landscape largely designed by the Olmsted Brothers.  A Cultural Landscape Report, also referred to as a CLR, is an extensive foundational document that provides a comprehensive look at the cultural landscape origins, evolution and use, informed by federal preservation guidelines.  The work by Heritage Landscapes received a Merit Award for Landscape Planning & Analysis in the 2019 Connecticut ASLA Professional Awards competition

We will begin implementing the various early action steps in the coming months and visitors to Planting Fields will see change in the landscape in 2021.  Please read about the Beech Copse restoration project here

In addition to better understanding the historic precedent of the landscape, the Foundation looks forward to providing a broader context of landscape design in early twentieth-century America and demonstrate how Planting Fields impacts that narrative. In 2022, the National Association for Olmsted Parks is celebrating Olmsted 200 – The Legacy, which marks the bicentennial of Frederick Law Olmsted’s birth. This will include a nationwide effort to commemorate the Olmsted legacy and Planting Fields will be joining in this initiative as our Olmsted story unfolds. Planting Fields Foundation looks forward to working with NY State Parks staff to reintroduce historic features and maintain the balance between a historic landscape and a thriving arboretum.

Reviving the Laundry Building

Park and Trial Partnership Grant to hire an architect for an historic preservation and adaptive reuse of vacant structure at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park. The Laundry Building adjacent to the visitor parking lot has been selected for this renovation project and will become an available space for educational, public programs. The PTPG—administered by Parks & Trails New York and in partnership with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation—is a grants program under the Environmental Protection Fund. The EPF is a critical source of protection for NYS’s land, water, and air as well as providing essential resources to communities.  The Laundry Building renovation is scheduled to begin in early 2021 with the goal of completion by end of the same year.