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November 1, 2002

Carter’s Grove to close for comprehensive facility, site and program assessment

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation will close its Carter’s Grove property for two years beginning Jan. 2, 2003, to conduct a comprehensive assessment of all facilities, grounds and programs located on the 750-acre complex.

The move accelerates a closure of Carter’s Grove that had been scheduled for 2005 and 2006 in conjunction with Colonial Williamsburg’s planned preservation program and is consistent with a foundation-wide review of all facilities and operations.

“Carter’s Grove is a beautiful and historically important place that carries the highest stewardship responsibility relative to the property itself and to the programs presented there,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and Chairman Colin G. Campbell. “In recent years, the foundation has undertaken substantial preservation work at the Peyton Randolph House, the Kimball Theatre, Wetherburn’s Tavern, Bassett Hall and several other properties, most with substantial donor support. The scale of the Carter’s Grove complex dwarfs all of these. The current pressures on the foundation require that we understand fully the needs of this property as well as our capacity to address them.”

Some Carter’s Grove staff members will relocate to Bassett Hall, the original Rockefeller family home, scheduled to reopen later this year after a nearly two-year restoration and renovation. Noting the significant role the Slave Quarter at Carter’s Grove has played in the foundation’s educational programs, Campbell reiterated Colonial Williamsburg’s commitment to telling the African-American story. "One of the opportunities of the Carter’s Grove decision is that elements of the Slave Quarter story will be transferred into the Historic Area thereby reaching a much wider audience,” said Campbell. “Our African-American programs are central to our Becoming Americans theme and to the foundation’s overall educational programs.”

Located along the James River eight miles west of Williamsburg, the Carter’s Grove site includes: Carter’s Grove Mansion, the reconstructed Slave Quarter, Wolstenholme Towne and the Winthrop Rockefeller Archaeology Museum. The Sealantic Fund conveyed the property to Colonial Williamsburg in 1969.