WASHINGTON—U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and U.S. Representative Jim Himes (CT-4) on Monday applauded the news that their legislation to change the Weir Farm designation from Weir Farm National Historic Site to Weir Farm National Historical Park is headed to President Trump’s desk. The change will better reflect Weir Farm’s size and importance, while improving recognition of the site and preserving its cultural landscape. Weir Farm is only one of two congressionally-approved National Park Service sites in Connecticut. It is also one of just two sites in the National Park Service dedicated to visual arts. The legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday and passed the U.S. Senate on Sunday.
“This is great news. I wish more people in and around Connecticut knew about Weir Farm, and designating it as a National Historical Park will help ensure that the park can expand all that it has to offer. Since its restoration in 2014, we’ve witnessed an uptick in visitors and more public programming underscoring the importance of preserving art and culture. I’m proud to have worked with Senator Blumenthal and Congressman Himes to get this across the finish line,” said Murphy.
“This significant victory ensures the preservation of Connecticut’s cultural landscape and artistic heritage. The National Historical Park designation recognizes Weir Farm as more than just home of J. Alden Weir. The new designation recognizes the multiple historical homes, art studios, and farm buildings that continue to be a destination that inspires generations of artists. I am proud that Weir Farm will finally receive the designation it deserves through the passage of this legislation, and will continue to support efforts to preserve Connecticut’s history.” said Blumenthal.
“Walking through Weir Farm in any season is a quintessentially Connecticut experience,” said Himes. “It’s a beautiful, extensive site that gives visitors perspective into an important period in American art, as well as a much-needed space to reconnect with our natural world. While we work on large government funding bills and coronavirus relief efforts in Congress, we must never forget to sustain the arts, protect our natural spaces, and plan for a brighter future. Americans will soon once again travel the country and explore its National Parks. Elevating Weir Farm to the status it deserves will help draw visitors and share the unique beauty and history of Southwest Connecticut.”
"The Friends of Weir Farm are proud to be part of the initiative, along with the Weir Farm Art Alliance, and Senators Murphy and Blumenthal, as well as Representative Himes, to propose the re-designation in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to Weir Farm National Historical Park. We believe that the passage of this bill with its new name truly represents the wide range of cultural, historical and recreational resources that the park offers to the public," Liz Castagna, the Vice President of the Board of Friends of Weir Farms NHS.
Weir Farm’s redesignation as a National Historical Park will properly reflect its acreage, number of historic themes and artists, natural and cultural resources, and the national impact of the Weir Farm site. Weir Farm National Historic Site has grown to approximately 75 acres since the original designation in 1990. This expansion has allowed artists and historians to better understand Weir’s enduring artistic legacy. The redesignation will reflect the increased visitation, collaboration with partners, and public programming since the park was restored and reopened in 2014.