Pilgrim Memorial State Park 2020 Improvements Project

The Landscape Rehabilitation Project is the main component of the 2020 Improvements program.



pilgrim memorial


Bathroom Rehabilitation

A contract for rehabilitation of the bathrooms at Pilgrim Memorial State Park will be executed in early May, and work will begin immediately thereafter. A temporary restroom trailer and a unisex ADA compliant unit will be placed in the park for public use during construction.

The 1997 Bathroom Building was designed to fit into Plymouth’s Water Street Historic District, and repairs will use matching materials, like a wooden roof, siding, doors, and windows. Inside, the facilities will be updated with water conserving fixtures and with new flooring, partitions, sinks, and countertops. During construction, the building will be closed, and DCR staff will work out of an adjacent office trailer.


April 2019                      Landscape Rehabilitation – final work items and maintenance

May-July 2019              Rehabilitation of Bathroom Building


DCR has contracted with R. Bates & Sons, Inc. to complete the landscape rehabilitation at Pilgrim Memorial State Park. Work begins in mid May and will be complete in early November. This web page and a bulletin board at the park will provide updates.

Anticipated Work Dates

  • South Park: mid-May to late August
  • Cole’s Hill: mid-May to late July
  • Plymouth Rock Portico: late July to late August
  • Pilgrim Mother Garden: mid-August to Mid-September
  • North Park: mid-August to early November


DCR will work to minimize the impact to all visitors. Pedestrian access to Plymouth Rock, the bathroom building, gift shops, and state pier will be maintained as much as possible throughout the project.

Two Week Look Ahead

Landscape Architect’s Rendering of South Park
Landscape Architect’s Rendering of South Park

Between April 2018 and June 2019, DCR will be undertaking improvements at Pilgrim Memorial State Park to prepare for the 2020 celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landing. Through a series of projects, the park will be rehabilitated to improve bathroom facilities, restore vegetation and lawn, repair pathways and benches, and improve accessibility, all while preserving the historic character of the park.

The state park will be under construction during 2018 and into spring of 2019, but the park will not be entirely closed during that time. The landscape rehabilitation project is anticipated to run from April through October 2018. Public access to the Pier, Plimoth Plantation shops, bathrooms, and the iconic Plymouth Rock will be maintained during construction. Parking areas will be closed for part of the project, and DCR is working with various groups to relocate performances and events that usually take place in the park. Over the winter of 2018/2019, DCR will rehabilitate the bathroom building. That building will reopen in spring 2019.

If you have questions or concerns or would like to be added to an email list to receive DCR general or project-specific announcements:

Email:   Mass.Parks@state.ma.us              Call:      617-626-4973

Landscape Rehabilitation

The largest project of the 2020 Improvements program is the rehabilitation of the Pilgrim Memorial State Park landscape. The $2M project will include work in the North and South parks, Cole’s Hill, and the Pilgrim Mother Garden.

North and South Park

In North and South Park, all parking areas and concrete sidewalks will be repaved, providing  new accessible parking spaces and access ramps. Pathways will be repaved, and in the South Park the coastal path will be relocated 6’ off of the edge of the slope, creating a vegetated edge. Existing benches will remain, and new benches will be added. New low plantings will be installed next to the Portico, and in the South Park a new irrigated lawn will replace the severely compacted lawn.


Work on the Portico is designed to restore historic finishes and repair the retaining wall on the seaward-facing side of the structure. The iron railings, along with medallions and the pebble flooring inside the Portico, will be refurbished. On the outside, seaward-facing joints in the retaining walls will be repointed, and a new concrete bulkhead will be installed to reinforce the existing drylaid stone structure.

Cole's Hill Stairs - Complete

Cole’s Hill

At the National Historic Landmark Cole’s Hill, the project includes removing and resetting the lower course of steps and repaving all of the pathways at the top of the hill, with some realignment to provide better soils around the linden trees. Work will also include restoring the lightpost, planting one linden tree, and adding ground cover to the area around the Sarcophagus.

Pilgrim Mother Garden

This project will provide universal access into the Pilgrim Mother Garden. The large steps at the sidewalk will be eliminated, and the pathways will be regraded and paved to allow for wheelchair access. The historic hedge will be rejuvenated. New plantings on the rear of the lot will stabilize the slope, and the arborvitae hedge along the north side of the garden will be returned.

Several projects at Pilgrim Memorial State Park are already complete. They are:

  • Repairs to Plymouth Rock (2017)
  • Conservation of bronze plaques, Massasoit, and Governor Bradford statues (2017)
  • Repairs to the National Monument to the Forefathers (2017)
  • Conservation and repairs to the Cole’s Hill Sarcophagus (2016)

Project Team

Landscape Architect:  Pressley Associates, Inc.

Engineer:  Coastal Engineering

Architect:   LDa Architecture and Interiors

DCR Project Manager:  Wendy Pearl

Public Meetings and Materials

March 22, 2018:  Meeting Notice | Presentation

May 17, 2017:  Meeting Notice | Presentation

Contact   for Pilgrim Memorial State Park 2020 Improvements Project


State Transportation Building, 10 Park Plaza | Suite 6620 , Boston, MA 02116

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