As Yaddo initiates renewal and growth of its 207-acre retreat for artists, the new Facilities Master Plan establishes best practices, guidelines and recommendations for short and long-term planning, and maintaining and upgrading of Yaddo’s infrastructure.
Yaddo is a sui generis sanctuary for artistic inquiry and experimentation, a place that we must first restore, then consider altering with trepidation, empathy and most certainly with a thorough grasp of history.
Prompted by compromised physical conditions, Yaddo commissioned the Facilities Master Plan to focus on improving the physical context of the Estate’s main parcel to better support artistic creativity. Driving any development are commitments to preserving the past and building the future.
The proposed master plan captures ideas and possibilities, is built on consensus and provides strategies to meet long-term goals. Following an extensive process of interviews with key stakeholders, existing conditions analyses and benchmarking of contemporary artists’ colonies, a prioritized list of deferred maintenance, renovations, new buildings and landscape projects was created.
The moment is now to protect Yaddo, to ensure that all that it has meant to individual artists and to American culture is honored, and to go beyond that to build a version of Yaddo that is an invigorated, burnished and forward-looking reiteration of the original ideal.
Regardless of the order in which the outlined projects are implemented, each new project will effectively build upon the previous ones, with all projects firmly linked to the institution’s identity and programs, staffing and maintenance needs.
Since its official opening in 1926, nearly 5,500 creative artists have resided at Yaddo, among them Langston Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Virgil Thomson, James Baldwin and Leonard Bernstein.