Reynolda launches new comprehensive website
Reynolda.org brings the estate together to thrive as a unified destination for learning, wellbeing and reflection.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Aug. 31, 2021) — Reynolda has launched a new website that combines the complete offerings of the 1917 estate of Katharine and R.J. Reynolds—Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village—into one comprehensive digital portal.
Katharine Reynolds’s vision for Reynolda included each part of her family’s estate working in harmony, unified through architectural design and horticultural abundance. This idea rings true in 2021, just as it did in 1917. The release of the website represents a critical moment for the Reynolda brand and its vision, which is to bring the entire estate together to thrive as a unified destination for learning, wellbeing and reflection. The new reynolda.org reflects the energy, beauty and diversity of the collections, programs and amenities offered by Reynolda and the welcoming, family-friendly environment visitors can experience during a visit.
“The release of reynolda.org is an exciting moment for Reynolda’s future. At last we are all coming together—the house, gardens, shops and restaurants,” states Barbara Babcock Millhouse, founding president of Reynolda House Museum of American Art and current Reynolda House board member. “This is a rare example of an early 20th century country estate that has been largely preserved, including most of the important buildings from the thousand-acre farm. The new website shows the place in the fullness of its history and illustrates the variety of its present-day offerings.”
Several new features designed to enhance the digital experience of visitors are now available, including:
- a robust, user-friendly events calendar that’s searchable by category and date range;
- a monthly guide to what’s blooming in the Formal and Greater Gardens;
- a new collections database that offers a streamlined look and feel, along with multiple online galleries—including new galleries—and a chance for users to create their own gallery of favorites;
- a detailed shopping and dining directory for the Village;
- a rich presentation of multimedia resources, including educational resources, lesson plans, and original feature stories;
- an interactive map, offered by Wake Forest University and integrated into the site, has been updated to add close to 30 additional points of interest for visitors to the Reynolda Historic District;
- an expanded historic timeline;
- multiple opportunities to donate to the House and Gardens and become a member; and
- content and resources for the Winston-Salem and Wake Forest community.
Digital accessibility is also a key component of reynolda.org, and website content and features have been fully audited to ensure compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Reynolda endeavors to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 AA and PDF/Universal Accessibility (PDF/UA) standards to ensure its digital offerings are ADA Compliant.
“Reynolda.org is an expanded digital portal, allowing us to deliver the complementary, historic and modern elements of the estate—art museum, gardens, shops and restaurants—through one easy-access point. The new website helps our virtual visitors imagine a day at Reynolda while exploring the distinctive elements of the estate that make them curious to learn more and imagine their a actual visit,” says Allison Perkins, executive director of Reynolda House Museum of American Art and Wake Forest University associate provost for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens.
Perkins adds, “Working collaboratively with our partners in Reynolda Gardens, Reynolda Village and Reynolda House has solidified our connectivity and relationships and has led to a considerable expansion of how we express the holistic Reynolda experience.”
For the past decade, Perkins has championed the concept of “stitching Reynolda back together” into a dynamic, evolved place that meets people where they are today.
Perkins said the idea of the “one Reynolda” brand developed in advance of the Museum’s Centennial year in 2017, in order to lead the estate into its second century stronger and more unified.
“History has been guiding our steps,” she says.
The Museum initiated the development of reynolda.org in 2020 while it was still closed due to COVID and provided funding for the project.
Technology firm Interactive Knowledge was contracted last year to design, develop and implement Reynolda’s new website. The company also built the Museum’s previous website, reynoldahouse.org, which launched in 2013, and provided design and development services for its mobile app. The reynoldahouse.org site received the People’s Choice Award from the Museums and the Web Conference in 2014.
“We are pleased to share the new reynolda.org website with the world,” says Tim Songer, President of Interactive Knowledge. “This unique project combines many aspects of the Reynolda community into a comprehensive digital experience.”
At Reynolda, efforts to develop the website were led by the marketing and communications department for Reynolda House and Reynolda Gardens, led by Kaci Baez, marketing and communications director, along with Aaron Canipe, manager of creative communications and Alexis Castanos, marketing and communications coordinator. The department collaborated with multiple staff members across the Museum, Gardens and Village on content creation and site structure in support of the website launch.
The website launch is a pivotal milestone in the evolution of Reynolda’s “digital wing,” which also includes mobile app Reynolda Revealed. Launched in 2018, the app was created to provide visitors with greater access to the art, nature and history of Reynolda through abundant video, archival audio and period and contemporary photographs.
Reynolda Revealed dives deep into the estate’s background through oral histories recorded during the 1980s and 1990s. Its 10 video and 35 audio clips feature Reynolds descendants, relatives and estate employees and their children recalling anecdotes of life in the South during the early decades of the 20th century. The app also takes users behind the scenes of the 64-room historic house and introduces the masters of architecture, interior decoration, and landscape and garden design whose collaboration created Reynolda, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Reynolda.org will be updated this fall to reflect a complete integration of the Museum’s online collections database into the website and its search capabilities, along with the release of a 3-D tour of the historic house. Reynolda will also continue to create original content for its website on an ongoing basis and make additional site optimizations as needed.
Website visitors are invited to contact email@example.com with questions.
Reynolda is set on 170 acres in Winston-Salem, N.C. and comprises Reynolda House Museum of American Art, Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village Shops and Restaurants. The Museum presents a renowned art collection in a historic and incomparable setting: the original 1917 interiors of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds’s 34,000-square-foot home. Its collection is a chronology of American art and featured exhibitions are offered in the Museum’s Babcock Gallery and house bedrooms. The Gardens serve as a 134-acre outdoor horticultural oasis open to the public year-round, complete with colorful formal gardens, nature trails and a greenhouse. In the Village, the estate’s historic buildings are now home to a vibrant mix of boutiques, restaurants, shops and services. Plan your visit at reynolda.org and use the mobile app Reynolda Revealed to self-tour the estate. Reynolda is part of Wake Forest University.
About Interactive Knowledge
Interactive Knowledge is a strategic digital technology firm that is shaping the future by delivering meaningful web and mobile applications, augmented reality experiences, and impactful interactive exhibits for the nation’s leading cultural, educational, and public institutions. The company began in 1991 and has established long-term relationships with the Smithsonian Institution, PBS, the American Battlefield Trust, the Fetzer Institute, and many others. Though technologies continue to change over time, Interactive Knowledge has always succeeded in creating engaging digital experiences that deliver rich content and accessible design.