Preservation Achievement Awards

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On May 13, seven projects across the Granite State were recognized by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance for outstanding achievement in preservation at its annual announcement ceremony in Concord. The awards recognize individuals, organizations and corporations for work or projects in the categories of restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship as well as advocacy, planning and education. It is the Alliance’s 25th year of honoring preservation achievement, and a Manchester resident with exemplary commitment and contributions to heritage organizations, and a local organization that is considered a national leader in preservation innovation and practice were also honored. 

The seven winning projects range from the rescue of a rare early 1800s store and stagecoach shop to a new design for a historic 1950s military structure and revitalization of an old textile mill. “We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and people, offer thanks, and inspire others,” said the Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director Jennifer Goodman.  

Ken Viscarello, chairman of the Alliance’s board of directors, noted the tenacity of the projects private developers and community advocates as well as the importance of investments by N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, the conservation and heritage license plate grant program, and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program in several of the projects.

The seven construction projects are:

  • Danville Heritage Commission for the rescue and restoration of the Webster Stagecoach Stop and Store
  • Old Allenstown Meeting House Steering Committee, Town of Allenstown and The Allenstown Historical Society for the restoration of the Allenstown Meeting House
  • Shandra McLane for the revitalization of 32 Main Street, Ashland for Squam River Studios
  • City of Manchester, Board of Mayor and Aldermen, Planning and Community Development, Department of Public Works – Facilities Division for the revitalization of Dearborn Memorial Hall/Odd Fellows Hall
  • Dakota Partners, Inc. and Bank of America CDC for the rehabilitation of the Hillsborough Mills for the Pine Valley Lofts, Milford
  • Friends of Stark Park for stewardship of Stark Park, Manchester
  • New Hampshire Army National Guard State of New Hampshire, Adjutant General’s Department for outstanding design of new addition for the Milford Readiness Center.

Pat Meyers was recognized for her exemplary commitment and contributions to preservation efforts on the state and local level; she has made impressive contributions to individual historic places as well as several heritage-related organizations.  After her family worked with the Manchester Historical Association and Red Cross, Greater Manchester Chapter, Manchester to place a preservation easement on the Frank Pierce Carpenter House in 1994, she became very engaged in preservation activities. As a board member, chair, committee member and volunteer of the N.H. Preservation Alliance, Meyers has played a major role in transforming and sustaining the organization, according to Alice DeSouza, former director of the N.H. Division of Travel and Tourism and advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

She also has served as a trustee at the Manchester Historic Association, New Hampshire Historical Society and Strawbery Banke and helped with First Lady Susan Lynch’s effort to rehabilitate the Bridges House, the official governor’s residence in Concord. Under Meyers’ board leadership, the Moffatt-Ladd House and Garden in Portsmouth more than doubled its attendance and restored a significant 18th century coach house. Moffatt-Ladd Director Barbara Ward says that Pat is “a colleague to all, a woman who constantly reminds us of the importance of our mission of preservation and education, and is an inspiration to staff and volunteers alike.” 

The Preservation Alliance acknowledged Historic Harrisville, Inc.’s commitment to innovation, good business, and community-wide stewardship in an award for outstanding leadership in historic preservation.  The group formed in 1971, in reaction to the devastating bankruptcy of the town’s major employer and property owner, with a new, forward-thinking model of adaptive use to keep Harrisville a working town. One building at a time, the group raised money, found tenants who fit their vision, and preceded with renovation, while pursuing conservation and housing goals along the way.

Historic Harrisville continues to push the envelope with innovative and effective preservation strategies, according to the Alliance. They kept the post office in town when it planned to leave, reopened and now own and operate the village store, and they are reestablishing water power as a source of electricity for the mill, setting a new standard for energy conservation.  Preservation leaders that participated in this award nomination were hard pressed to offer specific examples of places Historic Harrisville has influenced outside of their town because their influence has, and continued to be, so pervasive.  “They made preservation about blue jeans, not blue hair,” said Linda Wilson, long-time deputy state historic preservation officer, “and they continue to be a shining example for towns everywhere.”

 This year’s award program is sponsored by Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, Preservation Company, Common Man Family of Restaurants, Dakota Properties, Inc., Great Bridge Properties, North Branch Construction, Inc., Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation Consultant, Thurston Millwork and CMK Architects, P.A. 

            The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through leadership, education and advocacy. Current priorities include providing assistance to community leaders and promoting the use of easements, barn preservation and tax incentives.

More to be posted shortly.

            Last year’s awards included the restoration of a cobbler shop in Dunbarton, the revitalization of the Newmarket Mills, the restoration of the Milton Town House, and the creation of a documentary film on the Washington, NH meetinghouse. In previous years, the Preservation Alliance has presented awards for PSNH’s and PC Connection’s renovations of historic buildings for corporate headquarters, the restoration of the Acworth Meetinghouse, Gorham Town Hall and the Gregg Free Library in Wilton, the rescue of Daniel Webster Farm in Franklin and the Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel in New Castle, residential property revitalizations by NeighborWorks Greater Manchester, the re-use of the Plymouth Railroad Station, the proactive policies of the Lighthouse Kids, Gunstock Mountain Resort and Gunstock Mountain Historic Preservation Society, and the Troy, Moultonborough and Goffstown heritage commissions.

Jennifer talked about the program with David Murdo, host of What's Happening at the Audi in this on-line version of the ConcordTV show.