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Notice from the Director

Dear Wistariahurst Community,

Along with so many of our peers in this community and across the globe, Wistariahurst is taking our role as a heavily trafficked public site seriously and closely monitoring the situation. Despite having been in our off-season, we have maintained a high level of activity at Wistariahurst in the last months with school groups, college visitors, and special events. Without shifts in our work, those numbers will only increase in the coming weeks. However, we are committed to aid in the prevention of the spread of this and other viruses in our region in whatever ways we can.

Our decision-making aligns with the protective guidelines set in place by the City of Holyoke regarding public gatherings, but also take in account the special circumstances at Wistariahurst including:

    • The presence on our staff and volunteer team of people with vulnerabilities to this and other infections.
    • Our dual role as educational facility and stewards of the historic preservation of this site, which brings extra challenges when it comes to thoroughly disinfecting the historic material of our interior.
    • The fact that our audience is an eclectic mix of students, folks visiting the area from out of town, and individuals over 60.
    • The intimate spaces in the old home making the recommended distancing of 3 – 6 ft between people impossible for large groups.

In order to protect our community and join in the massive public efforts to keep any regional outbreak under control, we will be cancelling our public offerings, suspending our volunteer program, and delaying our season opening for a minimum of 30 days.

For now, administrative offices will remain staffed and available for questions by phone and e-mail. In-person archival research appointments are suspended but our City Historian will remain available for research inquiries via email and phone.

Our extended seasonal closure will provide us with the time and space to embark on new projects, virtual engagement materials, and more. Stay tuned for additional updates and communications.

Thank you to everyone in our community who supports us with your presence, your membership, your volunteerism, and your energies. We are inspired, as always, with the way that our fair City bands together in times of need.


Kate Preissler

Wistariahurst Director



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