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Bush-Holley Museum Property

Heritage Tourism

Bush-Holley Museum Property
Cos Cob, Connecticut

Heritage Landscapes has collaborated with the HSTG and their consulting architects for eight years in the research, planning and implementation of the Bush-Holley property historic landscape. In the 1890s the proximity of Cos Cob to New York City brought painters to this picturesque riverfront community. Summer art schools were held at the Holley boarding house and artists created compelling works inspired by local scenery through the 1920s. The Bush-Holley property is nationally significant in American history and culture associated with the Connecticut Impressionist painters of the Cos Cob Art Colony.  In terms of heritage tourism, recapturing the artists' historic landscape on this property made it a stronger element of the state-wide Connecticut Impressionists Trail.

The overall objective was to engage visitors in the history of this place and time to provide a platform for local history and education programs.  Heritage Landscapes documented and planned for a landscape that would portray the era of the Connecticut Impressionists while supporting an array of current needs. Completion of the Bush-Holley, Storehouse, Brush Properties Historic Landscape Report in 1996 was followed by the rehabilitation of the Storehouse with well integrated, accessible paths, historic plantings, stone steps and walls and unobtrusive safety railings, for this visitor center and exhibit space. The core area landscape plantings, birdhouse, trellis, paths and walls followed and the gardens, drives, paths and plantings around the archives and new education center in the barn studio was the final phase. The completed projects provide pedestrian and ADA access to the rehabilitated Storehouse, Bush Holley House and Archives Buildings, reinstate the historic trellis and plantings and add interpretive stations on the Cos Cob harbor and the property core. Also provided are public and staff parking, a bus waiting area and sidewalk access within lands leased from the Town of Greenwich. The landscape today reflects the Connecticut Impressionists period appearance of tended orchard, vegetable and flower gardens overlooking the Cos Cob harbor. The landscape has enabled an educational program expansion addressing its importance as a subject for works of art, a scenic setting and a source of fresh fruits and vegetables during the artists' stay.

Client:
The Historical Society of the Town of Greenwich (HSTG)

Project:
Historic Landscape Report for Bush-Holley, Storehouse & Brush Properties, Town of Greenwich approvals, design development and construction documents, construction supervision.

Project Credits:
Heritage Landscapes, planning, landscape restoration and rehabilitation projects, separately and parallel to architecture work for the Claire and Huge Vanderbilt Education Center, Lori R Jones and Associates, the Storehouse Visitor Center Austin Patterson Associates/Michael Glynn Architects, 1995-2002.