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George Eastman Museum receives a $600,000 grant for the restoration of its historic garden structures

Grant awarded from the New York State Office for Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

Rochester, N.Y., December 23, 2019—The George Eastman Museum has received a grant award of $600,000 for the restoration of the museum’s historic garden structures from the New York State Office for Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation through Title 9 of the Environmental Protection Act of 1993, in conjunction with the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. The restored structures on George Eastman’s estate, a National Historic Landmark, will include the pergola in the Schuyler C. Townson Terrace Garden, the grape arbor in the Rock Garden, and the loggia in the West Garden. The project will also improve accessibility of the museum’s gardens for those with impaired mobility. The total cost of the project is estimated at $900,000.

“George Eastman’s gardens are a very popular attraction for our visitors every year, and over the last 100 years the garden structures have been exposed to Rochester’s annual freeze-thaw cycle, which has led to severe deterioration and instability,” said Dr. Bruce Barnes, Ron and Donna Fielding Director, George Eastman Museum. “We are thrilled to be the recipient of this vital grant funding from New York State and eagerly look forward to restoring these structures and making our beautiful historic gardens more accessible for all of our visitors to enjoy.”

These original structures were designed by renowned architects. Alling S. DeForest provided the overall landscape design and collaborated with J. Foster Warner, who designed both the Terrace Garden and its pergola (built in 1905) and the Rock Garden and its grape arbor (1921). In 1916, Eastman commissioned architect Claude Bragdon to design the West Garden and its loggia. During his lifetime, the gardens were used for relaxing and entertaining and as a backdrop for promotional photography to market Kodak film. Today, they are integral to the experience of the museum’s visitors, popular for wedding and event photographs, and enjoyed by the community.

About the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation
The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees more than 250 parks, historic sites, recreational trails, golf courses, boat launches and more, which are visited by 74 million people annually. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call (518) 474‑0456, visit www.parks.ny.gov, connect on Facebook, or follow on Instagram and Twitter.

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