Over the past few years, Stevens-Coolidge has undergone a rejuvenation to protect this unique historic property for generations to come, including expanded and new garden designs and landforms, repairs to artistic features of the historic home, a new entryway and educational space to elevate the programming and care the space deserves, improved ADA accessibility, and other visitor amenities to support the increased visitation to the property over the last ten years. We’re excited to share the results of this transformation with members of the community and would like to offer some answers to frequently asked questions to keep everyone fully updated.
Q: Why isn’t Stevens-Coolidge free anymore?
A: The work to transform Stevens Coolidge House and Gardens has created many new opportunities for the public to experience the property in new ways and to learn about horticulture and gardening. New gardens have been designed and added to the footprint of the historic gardens. These new features make the site into a public garden destination. The Trustees cares for our places forever, and that care requires long-term financial sustainability, which is partially funded by admission fees. Trustees Members are always welcomed for FREE.
Q: Why were the hours of operation changed?
A: We listened to your feedback and will be extending our property hours, to 10AM-6PM, Thursday through Tuesday. The only day the property is closed to the public is Wednesday. We will share more details on the new hours before this goes into effect starting Monday, May 17.
We are also working on a plan for additional dawn-to-dusk pedestrian access for the North Andover community.
Q: How will our fees support this property specifically?
A: Admission fees help support the protection and conservation of Stevens-Coolidge by funding critical work throughout the property, such as grounds keeping and maintenance of trails, ensuring its care and protection forever. We also understand that not everyone can afford to pay these fees so we will offer free days and opportunities (listed below on this page) to ensure that many visitors have the opportunity to visit.
Additionally, all of our special places are supported by donations from foundations, individuals, and businesses. We are also supported by our Membership whose fees help to care for all of our places across the state.
Q: How much are the admission fees?
A: Effective May 17, the cost for admission for non-members will be $10 per adult and $5 per child (ages 3-12). Trustees Members may enter FREE with a timed ticket. Click here for general admission tickets.
Q: How can I reserve or purchase tickets?
A: Once we open for general admissions on May 17, there are two ways to get your tickets. We have an online timed ticketing system where you can reserve an online pass in advance at thetrustees.org.
Although, for the time being, timed ticketing is recommended to guarantee your spot, visitors will also be able to purchase tickets on-site if they are available. There is a chance that the property will be at capacity if you opt for a walk-on ticket.
Q: Will you offer discounts and free admission programs?
A: Yes, we are hosting five free community days for residents of North Andover and nearby towns. These include: May 30 for North Andover residents; June 27 for Methuen residents; July 18 for Lawrence residents; August 22 or 29 for Haverhill; and September 19 for Andover. We’ll also offer free admission to all on Indigenous Peoples Day and the Friday after Thanksgiving, and free admission for active and retired military and their families on Veterans Day.
In addition, we’ve established partnerships with many libraries, nonprofits, colleges & universities, where you can pick up a GO Pass. These passes allow you to access the property for free. Please check with your local library to see if they are participating members of the program.
The Trustees participates in the EBT Card to Culture program, and residents who receive EBT, SNAP, WIC, and ConnectorCare benefits can show their card and receive free admission. Members of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, AAA members, and active-duty military members and their families can also visit for a discounted rate.
Q: Will Trustees Members have to pay?
A: Trustees Members can visit Stevens-Coolidge for FREE. If you aren’t a Member, we hope you’ll consider joining today. A family Membership is only $70. You can also access all of The Trustees’ 120 properties for free, with the exception of Crane Beach at certain times of the year. In addition, Members receive discounts to programs and special events year-round.
Q: Are there any open spaces that visitors can enjoy for free?
A:We have opened a free Meadow trail on Andover St., which is located across from the Franklin School, where visitors can enjoy walks from dawn to dusk, including on-leash dog walking. There will also be pedestrian access to the Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens via the new trail. The Meadow trail is a free experience, but for those planning to access the public gardens from the meadow side of the property, Members and non-members will still be asked to check in at the Garden Gateway, with FREE entry for Members.
Q. Stevens Coolidge has been such an important part of the historic district of North Andover. Can we still access the property from Andover Street?
A: There will be two ways that pedestrians can access the property from Andover Street. In response to community feedback, we will be offering walk-up access at the gate by the historic house near the Old Center Common for Members during our regular admissions hours, as of May 17. There will also be pedestrian access to the Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens via the new Meadow trail that will be accessible near the Franklin School crosswalk on Andover St. The Meadow trails will be a free experience, but to access the public gardens from the meadow side of the property, Members and non-members will still be asked to check in at the Garden Gateway, with FREE entry for Members.
Q. I am used to visiting in the early morning, or after work. Can I still do this now?
A. We are developing a plan to offer neighborhood pedestrian access beyond our regular admissions hours. We look forward to releasing these details soon.
Q: Are dogs allowed on the property?
A: We welcome leashed dogs on the free Meadow trails and at several nearby properties, including Weir Hill and Ward Reservation, as well as on the Stevens-to-Stevens trail connecting North Andover’s historic center to Weir Hill. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed on the gardens side of the Stevens-Coolidge House & Gardens property.
Q: Did you give the community any notice these changes were coming?
A: Yes. In addition to gaining the approval of several town boards for the construction work during the public permitting process, The Trustees began hosting open houses in 2018 and hosted many property tours for neighbors, community members, town officials, and anyone interested in the project in the years since. Visitor satisfaction surveys were distributed to guests, and focus groups were held to obtain crucial feedback, as input from our neighbors, Members, and non-visitors from surrounding communities has been essential in getting to this point. We’re grateful to everyone who has contributed.