What a year we have had!
The pandemic changed everything, in many ways that were predictable, and in other ways that we did not anticipate. The downtime forced by closures and other mandates gave us an unprecedented opportunity to reevaluate our mission, goals, and priorities.
Of course, maintaining this remarkable property remains our primary goal. We struggled to keep the doors open as the bottom fell out of the events industry, which is a key component of our annual income and operating budget, but we did, thanks to your support of our emergency appeal.
In the past ten years, with your support, Linden Place has completed almost a million dollars of restoration and preservation work to the 210-year old estate. In just the last year, the ballroom cupola and the third floor porch roof was fully restored. Inside, several interior rooms were restored, with floors refinished, and fresh paint applied.
Thanks to your support, along with the state’s Take It Outside initiative, we were able to grow and expand our efforts to provide space for community groups and Bristol Art Museum outdoor art classes, with many outdoor events and new programs executed in a safe, COVID-compliant manner.
Even as the last 19 months brought so much to a stop in Rhode Island, here in Bristol it has moved Linden Place forward in ways that we never could have anticipated.
The national dialogue on social justice has been especially relevant here, at a property originally built primarily with profits from the transatlantic slave trade. In the last year, we formed a comprehensive re-examination committee which focused on the timely and important task of questioning how we have been framing Linden Place’s story.
• Our new audio tour is complete, and with it, a reinterpretation of the interior of the mansion.
• Linden Place became the proud new home of a Rhode Island Slave History Medallion, welcoming local and national civil rights and political leaders to the inspirational unveiling event.
• Our renewed focus on telling a more complete story of all the people who contributed to the history of Linden Place has expanded our reach and brought our message to a new audience, enjoying events that we hope will become annual favorites, like our social justice film series and community reading of Frederick Douglass’ iconic speech “What to the slave is the Fourth of July?”
Of course, the restoration work continues, and looking to 2022 we have a few key priorities, including:
• Restoration of the conservatory bathroom, which is actually detaching from the house. Restoration will save the addition as well as create an accessible first floor bathroom in the mansion.
• Restoration and painting of the mansion's south side
• Replacement of the heating system/boiler in the north and south wings of the mansion.
It’s been a landmark year — and we were only able to achieve what we did thanks to your generosity.
Will you please consider a gift to Linden Place’s Annual Fund and continue to support our important work?
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts
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