Your Voice Matters on Northern Pass
Northern Pass project leaders will be seeking public input at a new set of meetings on January 11, 13, 14, 20 and 21. Attend and share your concerns about impacts to historic resources. The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, wants to protect irreplaceable historic resources and help concerned citizens engage in the important and complex process of reviewing the proposed Northern Pass's impacts on historic places and cultural landscapes. To date, residents, organizations, businesses and others have expressed concerns about specific buildings, village or town settings, and views from hiking trails and scenic roads as well as the project developer's methodologies.
Five SEC Public Input hearings start with one at 6 pm Monday, January 11 in Franklin, ending on Thursday, January 21 in Lincoln (Full schedule below.) The Site Evaluation Committee needs to hear from citizens that consideration of impacts to historic resources is an important part of the decision-making process. Specific concerns may be for historic buildings as well as historic bridges and roadways, views, and agricultural and historic landscapes.
The Preservation Alliance will point out that that not enough data has been gathered to allow full consideration of historic resources, and that the process of compiling such information is moving too slowly and bypassing opportunities for effective citizen input, as required by law. Review the application and read comments already submitted at: http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2015-06/index.htm
These 24 towns slated for towers through all or part of the town:
If you prefer, you may also send your statement to the chair of the PUC and SEC, Martin Honigberg, even if it repeats what you plan to say or submit at a hearing. While the transcripts of the hearings may take some time to be posted online, letters and emails to Honigberg are being posted quickly. See http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2015-06/index.htm
Contact info for Chair Honigberg:
Chairman, Public Utilities Commission
Martin Honigberg, Chairman
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301
Tel: 271-6033 / Fax 271-4033
Speak Up for Historic Resources on Northern Pass
Monday, Jan. 11, Franklin Opera House, 316 Central St.,
Franklin. 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 13, Londonderry High School, 295 Mammoth Road,
Londonderry. 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 14, Lake Opechee Inn and Spa, 62 Doris Ray Court,
Laconia. 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan. 20, Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa, 101 Mountain View Road, Whitefield. 6 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 21, The Mountain Club on Loon Resort and Spa, 90 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln, 6 p.m.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is working with the National Trust for Historic Preservation to protect irreplaceable historic resources and help concerned citizens engage in the important and complex process of reviewing the proposed Northern Pass’s impacts on historic places and cultural landscapes. The National Trust recently named the historic, scenic landscapes of New Hampshire a "National Treasure." More here. To date, residents, organizations, businesses and others have expressed concerns about specific buildings, village or town settings, and views from hiking trails and scenic roads as well as the project developer's methodologies.
Write or call the NH Preservation Alliance and let us know what historic resources you are concerned about. This will help us and our partners, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, better advocate for historic preservation in the review process. Address your email to Maggie Stier, email@example.com or call 603-224-2281
Donate to support our work on this issue.
Questions? Contact Maggie Stier, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-224-2281
Seven to Save Profiles on Chronicle January 7
On Thursday, January 7, WMUR’s New Hampshire Chronicle is scheduled to air a feature about the Lane Homestead in Stratham, the Wolfeboro Town Hall, and our Seven to Save program at 7 pm. The Homestead, a privately-owned complex of 4 historic buildings within a Stratham traffic circle, is now for sale, and the long-time owners are eager to sell to a preservation minded buyer. The Stratham Heritage Commission has been working hard to develop the option of a preservation easement for the property. After a 2009 Seven to Save listing, the town of Wolfeboro developed a public private fundraising partnership to fund a $4 million renovation of their downtown landmark. Completed just a few months ago, the newly-re-opened Great Hall is already a popular venue for meetings and celebrations.
More on Seven to Save here.
Lessons from Downton Abbey
The Preservation Alliance staff enjoyed the premiere of season 6 of Downton Abbey, both as a period romance and for the on-going drama of running such a huge house and grand estate. Yes, there are “lessons to be learned” for our own day to day historic preservation activity:
Big, old houses can feel like a lot of work and expense. At the auction of a neighboring estate, the Crawleys are warned “Don’t wait till it’s too late for you.” We are rooting for the Crawley family and the downstairs staff amidst changing economic conditions. The good news is we bet your house isn’t as expensive to run as Downton Abbey. Keep up with maintenance or big projects by developing phased projects; the Preservation Alliance has referrals and information to help.
Preservation maintains the old but accepts the new. Historic preservation activity is all about celebrating the history of a place, and innovations that will keep a building in use for future generations are encouraged! If the Crawleys asked for our help to explore ways to sustain Downton, we’d share lots of ideas and examples that might be a match for their goals and situation. Shared uses, new business models, tools like easements and tax incentives are possible aids when a landmark structure needs a boost to remain or regain viability.
Preservation activity supports local jobs. In the first episode of the third season, Crawley family members speak of the importance of their role as employer, how maintaining their estate is critical to the lives of so many people. Hiring an energy auditor, window repairer, painter or someone to fix the sills in your barn is good for your old house and it’s good for your local economy, keeping more money in local circulation than new construction. (Our Directory is a good place to start.)
Give us a call 224-2281 or email email@example.com if we can help!
Preservation Resolutions for 2016
Preservation activity creates local jobs and keeps more money circulating in local economies than new construction, and is part of the landscape that attracts visitors and businesses to New Hampshire. For you, this year, it can also be an activity that connects you to special places, old friends and new ones.
Hope you'll incorporate some of these historic preservation practices into your 2016 list of resolutions and goals!
Take care of your old home. Starting to feel the cold air creeping in? Properly-installed insulation in your attic and around your foundation can offer major savings. Close gaps like those associated with chimneys. Re-tune old windows to keep cold air out and preserve original features of an old house. Don't miss our March 12-13 Old House and Barn Expo and check out other tips here.
Appreciate your community. Look at the place where you live (your street, road or neighborhood) and note how many historic buildings and structures you can see. Show your kids the building where you went to school, or where you got married. Support your local farm, and thank a neighbor who has fixed up his or her barn. Are there places you can't imagine your community without? Start a conversation with other interested citizens to consider planning tools like easements and tax incentives to turn a challenge into an opportunity.
Be an advocate for preserving our heritage. Ask candidates for state and local offices whether they support the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, New Hampshire's popular and effective matching grants program for historic preservation and land conservation projects. Volunteer to serve on your local planning board, library board, cemetery commission, or downtown organization. Help with a local preservation project. Enjoy dinner in an old inn or a play or concert at a historic theater.
Share your successes and concerns. We want to hear from you! Keep us posted on what's happening in your community. We welcome your thoughts and ideas. Post on our Facebook page or send to Jennifer Goodman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy New Year from the Preservation Alliance!
Nominations Sought For Achievement Awards
To honor outstanding work in its field, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is seeking nominations for its annual Preservation Achievement Awards. The awards recognize individuals, organizations, or businesses in the categories of restoration and stewardship, rehabilitation and adaptive use, compatible new construction, public policy, and educational and planning initiatives. The deadline for submissions is March 11, 2016.
Individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to submit nominations. Applications are available here. The awards will be presented in Concord on May 10, 2016 at the Concord City Auditorium.
We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and people while inspiring others,” said the Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director Jennifer Goodman.
In previous years, the Preservation Alliance has presented awards for PC Connection and Binnie Media’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.
Contact Goodman at 603-224-2281 or email@example.com with any questions.
2016 program sponsors include CMK Architects, Dakota Properties, Inc., Hutter Construction, Lyme Properties 2, LLC, Meridian Construction Corporation, Mountain View Grand, and Christopher P. Williams Architects PLLC.
Sponsors this past year were Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, Eames Partnership, EnviroVantage, Mascoma Savings Bank, Merrimack County Savings Bank, Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., Dakota Properties, Inc., Harvey Construction, Hutter Construction, North Branch Construction, Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architecture, Inc., Samyn-D’Elia Architects, P.A. and Turnstone Corporation.
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.
Success Stories of 2015
There were many preservation success stories in 2015. Here is one great one:
Success in saving and rehabilitating the Wolfeboro Town Hall came this year after Seven to Save listing in 2009 and many years of hard work by a Friends group that raised nearly $1 million to offset costs to taxpayers.
Frugal voters in Wolfeboro twice rejected proposals to rehabilitate Brewster Memorial Hall, an iconic 1898 downtown building that had been built to house both town offices and a public library. Amid controversial talk of demolition, the NH Preservation Alliance named the building to the Seven to Save list in 2009. Working closely with the Friends of Wolfeboro Town Hall, the Alliance continued to support preservation plans, and in 2014, voters agreed to a $4 million bond, thanks to the Friends’ efforts to raise nearly 25% of that in private contributions. Construction included a new layout for first floor offices, removal of dropped ceilings, and repair and replication of historic stairways and trim. The renovation of the long-shuttered second-floor Great Hall garnered the most excitement, with its new elevator, stage, catering kitchen, and spectacular views overlooking the lake and downtown area. The Alliance was honored to participate in the re-dedication ceremony in early November. The happy smiles of employees are now matched by attendees at selectmen’s meetings, a retirement party, and winter season contra dances. Send us your favorites: email firstname.lastname@example.org. Photos below courtesy of Bob Ness.
Lancaster Project Receives LCHIP support
An effort to preserve Lancaster’s iconic, historic and highly-visible House of Seven Gables (1858; ca.1867) through the purchase of a perpetual conservation easement got a major boost today thanks to a grant from the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP). More on the grant awards here.
Located at 129 Main Street, the house got its familiar name because of its distinctive gables that are visible from the south. The house’s first owner was a prominent lawyer, civic and business leader and his home represents an era of prosperity and growth for the county seat of Lancaster.
The building is across the street from Centennial Park which is used for farmers’ markets, Fourth of July ceremonies and band concerts, and the Weeks Library (National Register). Adjacent to the building are the small Cross Memorial Park and a small Greek Revival House (133 Main Street). Nearby on Main Street are several nineteenth century churches and a historic cemetery.
North of 129 Main Street, several historic houses have been altered or demolished. The most recent demolitions were two houses that were replaced by a Family Dollar store. Such demolitions have been a call to action for the community to protect its 19th century historic character and to meet the Town's Master Plan goal of preserving Main Street buildings.
A preservation easement is similar to a conservation easement, but it protects historic features instead of open space or natural resources. A preservation easement for 129 Main Street will prohibit demolition and certain alterations while allowing current and future property owners to use and adapt the building over time. The project team will be seeking community support to match the LCHIP grant and hope that this project will also spur efforts to preserve other Main Street buildings that are vulnerable to demolition or alteration. Project representatives are in conversation with the new owners of 133 Main Street about the easement tool as well. This a small Greek Revival house is most notable for its association with its longest owner, Colonel Henry Kent (1834-1909), who was a lawyer, owner of the Coos Republican, businessman, banker, politician, historian, recruiter during the Civil War, and civic leader.
The project team includes Alliance staff and several volunteers including Tim More, a part-time Lancaster resident; long-time Lancaster businessman Peter Powell; and Lise Moran, a recent graduate of Plymouth State University’s Graduate Program in Historic Preservation and part-time Whitefield resident.
Peter Powell notes that the streetscape around 129 Main Street has changed little in the past 150 years: “The architecture, green spaces, parks, churches and period residential structures capture and proclaim the history, spirit and character of our town. Lose any of them, and we lose an essential element of that character and spirit. We would become a different place. That character, our character, is now reflected in our desire to preserve what is important here, to protect these structures and this place in a vital and significant way. We are thankful for the recognition and participation of LCHIP, the Preservation Alliance and community partners who join to make it possible. We know this example will inspire others both within and outside of our own community, and we are excited and uplifted by this news from LCHIP.”
“The effort to preserve historical ambiance of Lancaster's Main Street through a preservation easement is an excellent addition to current other activities celebrating Lancaster's stories of people and places. It is exciting to see LCHIP and others invest in preserving the region's heritage, ” Linda Upham-Bornstein, Ph.D, Former board member, N.H. Preservation Alliance and Lancaster resident. [See more on another current preservation venture in Lancaster at http://lancasterproject.blogs.plymouth.edu/]
The Preservation Alliance holds preservation easements on several historic properties throughout the state and as helped local groups and conservation colleagues develop and execute this stewardship tool. The Town of Stratham also received an LCHIP grant for a preservation easement; their target is the Samuel Lane Homestead which is listed on the National Register for Historic Places and currently for sale.
Thirty-two community projects receive LCHIP funding
Concord, NH— On December 15, 2015 the N.H. Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) announced 32 grants to meet preservation and conservation needs in communities across the state. Governor Maggie Hassan and Senator Jeanie Forrester spoke at the December 15 event to announce the news. Praising the recipients for their effective efforts at conserving important land and preserving significant historic buildings, the Governor reiterated the importance of land conservation and historic preservation to the state’s economy, environment, and quality of life. A list of grants by region is here. More on the program here.
LCHIP grant funding will help Historic New England’s Jackson House (1664) in Portsmouth, the oldest frame building in New Hampshire and Acworth’s horse sheds, one of only nine such structures remaining in the state. Once common, horse sheds provided a place to safely leave horses during church services and town meetings.
This year’s LCHIP grants will also help permanently conserve more than 5,000 acres of ecologically important land, including farm and forest land, wildlife habitat, land protecting NH’s water quality and supplies, and land providing iconic views and diverse recreational opportunities from hunting and fishing, to hiking, biking, and snowmobiling. Many of the conservation project grant recipients spoke of their projects historic and cultural values.
“Thanks to the support of governor and council, and both legislative branches, LCHIP is able to award significant monies to a number of projects this year,” stated Doug Cole of D.S. Cole Growers in Loudon, Chair of the LCHIP Board of Directors. “Thirteen natural resource projects will conserve lands that will help insure access to local food, clean water, and a wide variety of recreational opportunities—as well as preserving the scenic and rural character of our great state. Nineteen historic buildings will be saved or revitalized because our New Hampshire state leaders have insured LCHIP funding remains available for its intended purpose.” Of the 19 preservation projects this round, the Preservation Alliance provided field services to nine, assessment grant to four and Seven to Save designation to four. Projects in Lancaster and Stratham include the Preservation Alliance as a project partner and preservation easement holder.
The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority that provides matching grants to New Hampshire communities and non-profits to protect and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural, and historic resources. Its legislatively mandated mission is to ensure the perpetual contribution of these resources to the economy, environment, and the quality of life in New Hampshire. Up until the current grant round, 341 LCHIP grants have helped 143 New Hampshire communities conserve more than 278,000 acres of land and 180 historic structures and sites. The $36 million of state money invested in these projects has leveraged more than $234 million in funds from other sources. LCHIP grants are supported by fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state. For more information about LCHIP visit lchip.org or call (603) 224-4113.
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