Park It! Weir Farm’s National Historic Designation May Change from ‘Site’ to ‘Park’

Connecticut’s Congressman Jim Himes (CT-04) and Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal introduced a bicameral resolution to redesignate Wilton’s Weir Farm National Historical Site as a National Historical Park.

According to the legislators, the proposed change will better represent Weir’s complex cultural, natural and recreational resources to the public. This redesignation would also reflect the increased visitation, collaboration with partners, and public programming since the park was restored and reopened in 2014.

“Weir Farm is a beautiful and informative place to visit that captures the rich cultural and artistic heritage of our region,” said Himes.  “Aspiring artists, nature lovers, and adventuring families can enjoy touring the farmhouse and extensive grounds, taking a class, or learning about local Connecticut history.”

“Weir Farm is a place where people can learn about artist J. Alden Weir’s work in the impressionist movement and is home to 75 acres used by landscape artists today. Weir Farms is a historic gem, and designating it as a National Historical Park will help ensure that future generations can enjoy what it has to offer for years to come,” said Murphy.

“Weir Farm is a beloved destination for art enthusiasts throughout the world, inspiring generations of artists to share their vision of the world. The site is more than just home of J. Alden Weir, it incorporates multiple historical homes, art studios, and farm buildings and is thus worthy of the designation National Historical Park. I am proud to support this legislation that will bring greater visibility to this national treasure,” said Blumenthal.

The Weir Farm National Historical Site Establishment Act of 1990 focused on preserving a limited part of the Weir property. Now, the vast holdings include more than 16 historical buildings spread out over 75 acres including a vast collection of American art, orchards and landscapes, trails, gardens, miles of stone walls, and Weir’s Pond. In addition, Julian Alden Weir is no longer the only painter celebrated at the site; it now features the lives and works of five more notable American artists.

Redesignation now is especially appropriate, not just because of the extensive renovations the site has undergone in the past 15 years, but also because, in 2020, the site will represent Connecticut on the U.S. Mint’s America the Beautiful Quarter, which will bring additional public attention to Weir Farm.

“Changing this designation is the right thing to do and it’s the right time to do it,” continued Himes.  “Walking through Weir Farm in any season is a quintessentially Connecticut experience and now, with its extensive grounds and programmatic offerings, it deserves recognition as a full National Park.”

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