Chesterwood was the country residence of famed sculptor Daniel Chester French from 1896 until his death in 1931. French purchased 70.1 acres in 1896 and engaged nationally prominent architect Henry Bacon to design a country home and studio. He selected the site largely for its dramatic southerly views of Monument Mountain. Over the ensuing years he acquired additional adjacent acreage, thereby securing dramatic unspoiled views to the south and west. Today, Chesterwood is a house museum devoted to French’s life and work and is run by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The Trust contracted JHPA to prepare a Master Site Plan for the site’s buildings and 122 acres of trails, fields and gardens. The firm worked with a multi-disciplinary team of consultants and with Chesterwood staff to develop a plan that included a marketing strategy, a facilities space program, use options, a phased implementation schedule, and a cost estimate.
The plan involves restoration, adaptive use, conservation, and stabilization of existing structures as well as the addition of new buildings. It is an attempt to restore the site to its period appearance while at the same time provide the changes necessary to maintain its viability into the future.