The Friends of Stonehurst advocates to preserve, protect and enhance this special place for public enjoyment and and forever. As advocates with passion and knowledge about this unique resource and its meaningful place in our national story, we build support for the estate by educating elected officials and the public on successes and challenges of the estate. We draw broad community support to foster a collaborative environment and open doors to all.  

In 2018, The estate faced its greatest challenge since its transfer from private to public ownership in 1974. 

The Waltham School Committee considered taking protected conservation land from this National Historic Landmark for a new high school should their top choice fall through.

In partnership with the Waltham Land Trust, we built a group of local and regional supporters who recognize the broader implications of these competing municipal interests, called the Coalition to Preserve the Paine Estate

We submitted a thick preservation packet to the Waltham Mayor, City Council, School Committee and School Building Committee with letters, articles and a petition representing thousands of individuals and organizations throughout the region and country opposed to the plan.

In the summer of 2018, the City of Waltham purchased other property for the purpose of a new high school. With the immediate threat successfully averted, the Friends can now focus on the long-term preservation of this remarkable estate.




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FRIENDS position on proposed border fence, MAY 2018

This letter responds to the Waltham School Committee's plan to install a border fence between the Waltham High School and Paine Estate, blocking access to this public conservation land from the north. 

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FRIENDS position on land taking, APR 2018

The Friends of Stonehurst strongly opposes any plan to take any land from the Robert Treat Paine Estate (including Chesterbrook Woods) for a new High School campus. 

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FRIENDS Position on ChesterBrook WoodS, Nov 2017

Even prior to the current proposal to take 13 acres or more from the Paine Estate, the Friends of Stonehurst opposed the taking of Chesterbrook Woods parcel.


Friends of STonehurst Articles ...

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National Association for Olmsted Parks, Apr 2018

NAOP publishes an article "Stonehurst Faces a Crisis" in its newsletter Field Notes.

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The Cultural Landscape Foundation, MAR 2018

TCLF publishes an article "Olmsted's Stonehurst Eyed for Development" for its Landslide program. 


Advocacy gathered from partners...

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trustees of reservations

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Preservation Massachusetts


historic new england


Mass Audubon, Mar 2018

Mass Audubon urges the City to preserve this land that is part of the Western Greenway, a 1300-acre regional resource for people and wildlife. 


New England chapter, Society of Architectural Historians, Mar 2018

NESAH makes numerous arguments against this proposal as an ill-considered and unviable pursuit, comparable to a case in Brookline. 

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Read a legal argument against the proposal to destroy and develop the land.


friends of the western greenway

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This City commission clarifies historical facts and opposes the land taking. 

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Waltham Land Trust, Nov 2017

The Waltham Land Trust opposed the taking of the Chesterbrook Woods parcel.