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City of Waltham approves $207,000 grant to help Historic New England preserve local National Historic Landmark

BOSTON – October 2011 – The Waltham City Council recently approved a $207,000 Community Preservation Act grant to Historic New England to support work on the 1793 Lyman Estate, a National Historic Landmark. The grant will be matched dollar-for-dollar by an anonymous donor, resulting in more than $400,000 being invested in preserving the property.

"As a member of the Waltham Historical Society and Waltham Historical Commission, and as a history teacher at Waltham High School, I can think of no project more deserving of support than the restoration of this significant part of Waltham’s history," said John W. Cox, who regularly brings students to the estate.

A valuable cultural and educational resource for the community and region, the Lyman Estate comprises a historic mansion and greenhouses set on thirty-seven acres of gardens and woodlands. The estate is best known as a site for Historic New England’s public programs and as a function rentals venue open to the public. It has been the location of hundreds of meetings, events, and celebrations and is one of the most popular historic sites for weddings in the greater Boston area. The property is closed for functions this year to facilitate extensive preservation work and other upgrades. However, the site remains open for showings, and bookings are being taken for 2012.

"I was very pleased to hear of the generous grant made possible by the Waltham Community Preservation Committee and the Waltham City Council," said Keith Gilbert, local businessman and managing partner of the Park Lodge Hotel Group. "The Lyman Estate is one of Waltham’s treasures, and it’s wonderful that this grant will allow vital preservation work to begin."

In addition to serving as a functions venue, the Lyman Estate houses Historic New England’s stewardship and historic homeowner services staff, who specialize in the preservation and maintenance of privately-owned properties, and the property care staff, who preserve and maintain Historic New England’s collection of thirty-six historic sites in five states.

The City of Waltham grant supports preservation work on the Lyman mansion roof, veranda, and steps to protect the building and ensure safe and comfortable access for visitors; electrical rehabilitation in preparation for reinstallation of historic lighting fixtures; and work on the historic wood floors.

This preservation work complements a comprehensive weatherization project at the mansion with the goal of making it fifty percent more energy-efficient without sacrificing its architectural integrity. As a result, the mansion will be one of the most energy-efficient public historic buildings in the region and a national model for other historic homes.

"We are delighted to have the support of the City of Waltham for this important preservation project and as a match to our Preservation Maintenance Fund challenge grant," said Historic New England President and CEO Carl R. Nold. "The work at the Lyman Estate is one of the most extensive of the many projects supported by Historic New England’s Preservation Maintenance Fund, which was launched with a $3 million challenge grant in 2009 to address long term preservation needs at our historic properties."

For more information on the Lyman Estate, visit

City of Waltham approves $207,000 grant to help Historic New England preserve local National Historic Landmark