Advocacy

The Friends of Stonehurst advocates to preserve, protect and enhance this special place for public enjoyment and inspiration...now 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.

 
 

FRIENDS OF STONEHURST ADVOCACY LETTERS

 

FoS position letter on proposed border fence at WHS jpeg.jpg

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. 

 
FoS position letter on land taking jpeg.jpg

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. 

 
Friends letter on Chesterbrook Woods.jpg

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 ...

Stonehurst from the east, distant. Photo by Bret Morgan 1999 jpeg.jpg

National Association for Olmsted Parks, Apr 2018

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

 
Ode to Olmsted 15 jpeg.jpg

The Cultural Landscape Foundation, MAR 2018

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

 

Advocacy gathered from partners...

WLT letter on landtaking jpeg.jpg

WALTHAM LAND TRUST

 
trustees letter on landtaking jpeg.jpg

trustees of reservations

 
preservation mass on land taking jpeg.jpg

Preservation Massachusetts

 
scan0011.jpg

historic new england

 
SCAN0002.JPG

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. 

 
SCAN0003.JPG

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. 

 
MLTC letter page 1.JPG

 

MassACHUSETTS LAND TRUST COALITION, FEB 2018

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

 
scan0012.jpg

friends of the western greenway

 
WHC letter.JPG

WALTHAM HISTORICAL COMMISSION, FEB 2018

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

 
WLT letter on Chesterbrook Woods.jpg

Waltham Land Trust, Nov 2017

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