Concerned about Northern Pass’s impact on historic places?
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. There are three major review processes that offer an opportunity for the public to express their concerns and suggestions about historic resources. In a recent series of workshops offered by the Alliance and the National Trust, many people were gratified to learn more about the required processes of identifying historic resources potentially affected by Northern Pass. Attendees also expressed concerns about specific buildings, village or town settings, and views from hiking trails and scenic roads. A guest speaker from the NH Division of Historic Resources also participated in the workshops.
Typically, to qualify as historic, buildings or structures must be at least 50 years old and retain historic character and significance. They might be used for residential, civic, religious, commercial, industrial or transportation purposes. Historic resources may also include farms, barns, bridges, trails and archeological sites, as well as historic scenic or rural landscapes. Identification and consideration of these potentially-affected resources is now underway or imminent. Public involvement and comment is an essential component of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (anticipated in July), Section 106 review under the National Historic Preservation Act (underway now), and the NH Site Evaluation Committee (expected soon).
To join the Alliance’s e-communication list and stay up-to-date on these processes and learn how to let your voice be heard, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Alliance is the statewide non-profit preservation organization and the National Trust brings national-level experience and expertise in preservation law and advocacy.
In addition, the Alliance offers this list of ways to show your concern for historic resources:
1. Request consulting party status from the US Dept. of Energy for the Section 106 process (which seeks to avoid, minimize or mitigate impacts to historic resources). This gives you an official "seat" at the federal historic preservation project review "table." Sample letter below.
2. Tell the Alliance what historic places you’re worried about so we can help you advocate.Contact Maggie Stier at email@example.com or 224-2281.
3. Review and comment on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) within 60 days of its release. Check www.northernpasseis.us for more.
4. Contact Jennifer Goodman at the Alliance (firstname.lastname@example.org) or 224-2281 to get more involved with the state SEC review
5. Donate to Preservation Alliance to support on-going advocacy efforts.
The Preservation Alliance and National Trust thank its hosts of the recent workshops: Town of Sugar Hill and Sugar Hill Historical Museum; Campton Historical Society; Weeks Memorial Library, Lancaster; Deerfield Heritage Commission; and Colebrook Historical Society and Tillotson Center for the Arts.
SAMPLE REQUEST TO BECOME A CONSULTING PARTY BELOW
Mr. Brian Mills
National Electricity Delivery Division
Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability
U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington DC 20585
Dear Mr. Mills:
As a resident of ______________, I have a demonstrated interest and concern about the impacts on historic places by the proposed Northern Pass Transmission project in New Hampshire. I understand that consultation has been initiated under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) for this project. I would like to participate actively in the review process, as a “consulting party” under Section 106 of the NHPA, pursuant to 36 C.F.R. §§ 800.2(c)(5) and 800.3(f)(3).
Given my knowledge of the area and my community, I can provide important information and a valuable perspective as a consulting party under Section 106. Please include me in your distribution list for public notices of any meetings, and for the circulation of any documents for comment.
I look forward to participating as the review and consultation process moves forward for the Northern Pass project.
Caitlin A Callaghan, PhD/JD
Chemical Engineer, National Electricity Delivery Division
Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability | U.S. Department of Energy
1000 Independence Ave, SW | Washington, DC 20585
202.287.6345 phone | 240.477.0478 blackberry | 202.586.1472 fax
Celebrate Old Home Days in N.H.
Since its inception over 100 years ago, Old Home Day has continued to be faithfully observed in towns throughout the Granite State. These annual events, held in the summer or early fall, are organized by local volunteer committees and often include parades, barbeques and potluck suppers, tours of historic homes and gardens, dances, games and music.
Governor Frank Rollins developed the concept in 1899.to invite former residents of New Hampshire home at a time when the opening of the West, and lure of urban centers with industrial jobs had depleted New Hampshire’s rural areas. “Towns that had had boasted as many as 2,000 were reduced to under 100, farmhouses were falling into ruin, fields were growing back to brush, and forests were being clear-cut,” according to Tom Curran in his overview of Old House Days produced for the Preservation Alliance. It was a “family reunion at a grand, Victorian scale,” he said.
Let us know if you have additions or corrections to these lists (alphabeticaly by town, followed by a list by date for July through September):
Nominations Open for Seven to Save!
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announces that nominations are now open for its Seven to Save program, which spotlights endangered historic properties and helps attract new investment and re-use options for community landmarks. Criteria for Seven to Save include the property’s historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the Seven to Save listing would help in preserving or protecting the property. Typically, nominated properties are owned by non-profits, municipalities or commercial entities, and have local advocates willing to work toward a creative “save” rather than deterioration and possible demolition. The 2015 list will be announced in mid-October.
New Hampshire is defined by its town halls, old mills, historic downtowns, village grange halls and churches, and mix of agrarian, educational, and industrial buildings. Residents and visitors alike appreciate and enjoy these aspects of our built environment. But many older structures need help, and until they get it, may detract from surrounding property values and limit economic growth. They represent, in many cases, a prime opportunity for community involvement in jump-starting new efforts to rehabilitate and reuse a valuable resource.
Anyone can submit a nomination for the Seven to Save list. Previous nominations have come from concerned citizens, neighborhood advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or commissions. Nomination forms may be downloaded here, or may be requested from the Preservation Alliance office at 603-224-2281. The submission deadline is September 14.
“We see the Seven to Save program as a positive way to encourage new investment in historic buildings,” said Maggie Stier, field service representative and coordinator of Seven to Save for the NH Preservation Alliance. “Obstacles to the continuing or new use of many of these landmarks can frequently be overcome through creative planning, new investment, and the hard work of local advocates.”
The Seven to Save program is now in its tenth year, with nearly half of the previously listed sites now considered saved. Examples of successful Seven to Save outcomes include the town halls in Kensington, Middleton and Wolfeboro, Pandora Mill in Manchester, the Langdon Meetinghouse, and the Great Stone Dwelling at Enfield Shaker Museum. It often takes several years to make significant progress toward preservation. Properties from recent years whose future is still uncertain include the Farley Building in Hollis, the 70-meter ski jump at Gunstock Mountain Resort, and the Gas Holder in Concord. More about past year's here.
“Seven to Save is a program with both short and long-term goals,” said Jennifer Goodman, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We want to build awareness of the many benefits of preservation throughout our state, and we want to work with owners and advocates to provide specific targeted assistance to help them succeed.”
The list will be announced at the N.H. Preservation Alliance’s annual meeting in October. Seven to Save program sponsors over the past year include The Lewis Family Foundation; Anagnost Investments; Ian Blackman, LLC Restoration and Preservation; Milestone Engineering and Construction, Inc.; Christopher P. Williams Architects, PLLC; HEB Engineers, Inc.; Lavallee/Brensinger Architects; Ned Tate, Tate & Foss Sotheby’s; TMS Architects; and Preservation Company. Contact Jennifer Goodman at 603-224-2281 or email@example.com if you're interested in 2015-16 program sponsorship.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through education, resources and advocacy. For more information, visit www.nhpreservation.org.
14 Projects Receive Preservation Achievement Awards
On May 12, fourteen projects across the Granite State were recognized for outstanding achievement in preservation by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance at its annual announcement ceremony in Concord. The awards recognize individuals, organizations and corporations for projects in the categories of restoration, rehabilitation and stewardship. It is the Alliance’s 26th year of honoring preservation achievement. Scroll down for photos of winning projects and full list.
Clockwise from upper left: crew at Fabyan Guard Station in Carroll; Developer John Stabile with resident at the new Apartments at Cotton Mill, Nashua; project leaders for the restoration of fences at Sunnyside Cemetery, Sugar Hill; and property owner Jean Goehlin at the restored Franconia Iron Furnace.
This year’s awards showcase tenacious developers whose projects contribute greatly to the social and economic health of communities: Gregory and Rita Cloutier rescued two prominent Main Street buildings in Lancaster, and the building’s new and proposed uses are adding to the vibrancy of downtown. Gordon Bult acquired a property on the edge of the state office complex in Concord preventing its demolition, and returned it to the tax rolls and use by a family. Binnie Media’s repurposing of a former elementary school has brought new tax revenue and 40 jobs to Concord and created a broadcast center for the state capital.
Senior Living at Notre Dame Limited Partnership/Affordable Housing, Education and Development (AHEAD) Inc. made an investment of over $8 million in a former Catholic school in Berlin for housing, and kept $5 million of goods and services circulating within a 60-mile radius of the city. An old cotton storehouse in Nashua was adapted to workforce and market rate housing in a nearly $26 million redevelopment by The Stabile Companies. Nashua’s economic development director Thomas F. Galligani, Jr. praised this ambitious project as a tremendous catalyst for change, that dramatically transformed a vacant industrial relic into an urban neighborhood teaming with vitality. “This trend of ‘vacancies to vitality’ extends beyond the building and spills into downtown as residents discover the eateries, shops other businesses within Nashua’s historic core,” he said.
Awards also went to several municipalities for their outstanding commitment to special places: Amherst rehabilitated their Town Hall’s failing roof; Sugar Hill restored deteriorated cast iron fencing in a prominent cemetery; Campton rehabilitated a 300-foot long covered bridge, increasing its load limit for emergency vehicles; the City of Manchester and the Manchester School District restored and restarted the Hallsville Elementary School’s tower clock that had been silent for three decades; the Belmont Heritage Commission restored their Victorian bandstand; and Nelson revived their town hall, an iconic contra dance venue.
New Hampshire’s diverse history and tradition of strong stewardship is evident in these award-winning projects. “We are so fortunate to live in a state with very special places, and smart, generous people who step up to steward and creatively re-use them,” said the Preservation Alliance’s Executive Director Jennifer Goodman. Projects recognized for exemplary stewardship include the restoration of a rare 19th century stone stack from the iron industry in Franconia, an early log cabin in the White Mountain National Forest, and the N.H. Farm Museum’s connected farm and barn structure in Milton.
Clockwise from upper left: celebration for the rehabilitation of the Notre Dame School in Berlin; Belmont Heritage Commission members with contractors for the Belmont Bandstand revitlization; the rehabilitated Walker School for Binnie Media/NH1 in Concord; Morris dancers in front of the Nelston Town Hall during rehabiliation; the newly-rehabiliated Sleeper House in Concord.
“We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and people, and offer inspiration to others,” said Goodman.
Many of New Hampshire’s traditional craftsmen worked on these projects. Arnold Graton helped the Town of Campton rehabilitate the Blair Covered Bridge; he had worked previously on the bridge in the 1970s with his father Milton Graton. Arnold’s son JR Graton worked on another award-winning project, uncovering original details and repairing the ornate Belmont Bandstand.
Kathy Bogle Shields, chairman of the Alliance’s board of directors and a host of the event, noted the tenacity of the private developers and community advocates as well as the importance of investment by the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, N.H. Housing Finance Authority, N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, and the conservation and heritage license plate grant program in several of the projects.
The full list of projects, recognized geographically from north to south, are:
- Gregory and Rita Cloutier for the revitalization the 73-77 Main Street, Lancaster
- Senior Living at Notre Dame Limited Partnership/Affordable Housing, Education and Development (AHEAD) Inc. for the rehabilitation and adaptive use of Notre Dame High School/George E. Burgess School
- Town of Sugar Hill for the restoration of Sunnyside Cemetery fences
- Jean Goehlen for the rehabilitation and stewardship of the Franconia Iron Furnace
- U.S. Forest Service, White Mountain National Forest for the restoration of Fabyan Guard Station, Carroll
- Town of Campton for the rehabilitation of the Blair Covered Bridge
- New Hampshire Farm Museum for the stewardship of The Jones Farm, Milton
- Belmont Heritage Commission for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Belmont Village Bandstand
- City of Manchester and the Manchester School District for the restoration of Hallsville School Clock and Tower
- Town of Amherst for the rehabilitation of Amherst Town Hall
- Gordon Bult for stewardship of Joseph T. Sleeper House, Concord
- Binnie Media/NH1 the rehabilitation and adaptive use of Walker School
- Town of Nelson for the revitalization of the Nelson Town Hall
- The Stabile Companies/Cotton Mill Square LLC for the rehabilitation and adaptive use of the North Cotton Storehouse, Nashua
Clockwise from upper left: stewardship at the N.H. Farm Museum in Milton, the restored Hallsville Elementary School clock in Manchester; rehabiliated Amherst Town Hall; newly-rehabiliated 73-77 Main Street in Lancaster.
This year’s award program is sponsored by 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 that strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places.
More on individual winners available by calling or emailing the Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Community Mourns Loss, Celebrates Legacy, of Jeff Taylor
Friends and colleagues are mourning the death of Jeffrey Taylor, extending condolences to his wife Dijit Taylor and family, and celebrating his many accomplishments. Taylor died April 7. He was an accomplished planner and civic leader for four decades. He was instrumental in the development of the Preservation Alliance's strength, served on the board of directors in the mid and late-1990s and was a go-to person for preservation challenges throughout his career.
Click here for an obituary offering wonderful examples of his interests and accomplishments.
The Preservation Alliance has been honoring preservation achievement for over 25 years, and only a few people have received individual honors. Here are excerpts from the messages honoring Jeff with one of those rare awards in 2003:
"We believe that Jeff – for good reason – has been at more ribbon cuttings for buildings that almost didn’t make it than any other person in New Hampshire..."
"His persistence and creativity were essential ingredients in the resuscitation of the Eagle Block in Newport, Wentworth-by-the-Sea in New Castle, the Belmont Mill and the Mountain View Hotel in Whitefield. He has been consistently supportive in very tangible ways of projects that use or adapt our historic structures. As state planning director for 13 years and as an officer and board member of Plan NH and the Preservation Alliance, he also focused on the "infra-structure" of preservation, sponsoring major initiatives on smart-codes, zoning and sprawl. He understands that preservation is a major economic development tool, one particularly suited to New Hampshire, and he has the tenacity and imagination to apply that tool in creative ways."
Preservation Alliance Offers New “Road Map” for Creating Neighborhood Heritage Districts or Areas
Interested in learning more about a new zoning tool that helps protect the distinctive and valued historic character of an area? The Preservation Alliance is pleased to announce the availability of new materials about Neighborhood Heritage Districts through the NH Department of of Environmental Services website and its Innovative Land Use Planning Techniques Handbook. http://des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wmb/repp/innovative_land_use.htm
Designed to help community leaders and planners understand the purpose and use of this new mechanism to protect local heritage and historic character, the chapter draws on the Alliance’s work with Hooksett and Greenfield, the two towns that received support in 2012-14 from the N.H. Housing Finance Authority, to explore creation of a Neighborhood Heritage District.
The Alliance has also posted other regulatory and voluntary ways to recognize, preserve, and protect historic resources on this web-site. Interested in knowing what towns have adopted some of these strategies and what their ordinance contains? Want more information on Neighborhood Heritage Districts? Contact the N.H. Preservation Alliance’s Field Service Rep, Maggie Stier, at 603-224-2281 or email@example.com.
Generous support for the development of the Neighborhood Heritage District concept was provided by a HUD Community Planning Grant, the Badger Fund of the N.H. Charitable Foundation, the Pardoe Foundation and other donors.
From the DES publication:
Neighborhood Heritage Districts offer a more flexible alternative to local Historic Districts (as distinct from National Register Historic Districts). Neighborhood Heritage Districts (NHD) differ in two primary ways: 1) they are administered by the Planning Board with assistance from an Advisory Committee (in contrast to a separate Historic District Commission), and 2) their primary purpose is to protect an area’s overall character rather than specific architectural features and details. They are most often initiated at the grass roots level by a neighborhood association or group that can generate widespread support for such a measure and help assure its adoption. Through a customized set of guidelines and standards, and a team approach of advisory committee and the municipal planning board, NHDs review and regulate proposed change in a limited range of circumstances—usually new construction, demolition, major additions, and removal or installation of major landscape features.
This land-use tool has been in use in other states since the early 1980s. Elsewhere it is frequently called a Conservation District or Neighborhood Conservation District because the emphasis is less on preserving specific features and details of buildings and more on conserving the overarching characteristics of a neighborhood or area. Resources in such a district do not have to be 50 years old or older, as is typical with traditional historic districts, but the designated area must convey some aspect of the community’s historical, architectural, or cultural heritage.
Goals in creating a Neighborhood Heritage District may include protection of rural character, encouraging compatible new investment, controlling demolition, stabilizing property values, limiting unsympathetic commercial encroachment, or maintaining traditional scale, form or uses. NHDs are most often adopted as an overlay to existing traditional zoning.
In 2008, the N.H. Division of Historical Resources published Neighborhood Heritage Districts, A Handbook for New Hampshire Municipalities by Elizabeth Durfee Hengen and Carolyn Baldwin, Esq., describing an extensive collaborative planning process and setting forth the process to introduce and encourage use of this tool. Subsequent efforts to create NHDs have relied heavily on that effort. http://www.nh.gov/nhdhr/documents/neighborr_hert_handbook.pdf
On-line Auction a Success!
Thanks to everyone who bid in our on-line auction. And we appreciate all of our donors too! Thanks to you we met our goal, and auction proceeds will help underwrite our work with Seven to Save properties and old farms and barns. A great investment in New Hampshire!
We will be following up with all winners shortly. Hooray!
2015 Town Meeting Results
Town meetings this year so far have provided strong support for historic preservation activities in general, and mixed results for more expensive items. “While we’d love to see local leaders batting 1.000 for their well-planned projects, we know that large projects often take several years to succeed,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. “The mixed preservation outcomes are also very similar to overall results for all sorts of big projects – old and new – because of citizen concerns about budgets and spending,” she said.
We are happy to report victories in many towns around the state:
Hampton voters passed by six votes an article to appropriate $650,000 to repair and/or rebuild the 238-year-old Grist Mill Dam.
Colebrook approved a major Main Street streetscape and roadway rehabilitation project by 249-17 votes.
Wolfeboro approved putting $200,000 toward structural repairs of the Libby Museum, built in 1912 and listed to the National Register.
Hebron voted to continue placing $100,000 annually in the Town Offices Expansion and Refurbishment Fund so that the former Hebron Academy building can be rehabilitated to continue to serve as town offices.
Funds to match an LCHIP grant to repair damage to Watson Academy in Epping (Seven to Save 2014) were included in the town’s approved operating budget.
Kensington voters approved $30,000 for a feasibility study and architectural plans for a 2-story addition to the historic town hall so that it can continue to meet the needs of both town offices and the Police Department.
In Belmont, the Heritage Commission got a boost when they received their largest allocation of town funding to date: $5,000.
The Preservation Alliance has assisted leaders of many of these projects.
There are also several significant landmark structures where we had hoped to see new investment and additional support did not progress at town meeting this year.
The Dunbarton Town Hall Theater Restoration group provided a very sound planning process to re-open the historic town hall’s second floor theatre, but the $1.15 million request didn’t fly by a 2 to 1 margin. The Epsom Meetinghouse also didn’t get a “yes” vote on rehabilitation of the former church for town offices, though community support to move it and save it from demolition was strong in 2007.
For the third time, a multi-year rehabilitation proposal for the historic town hall in Washington was narrowly defeated, and a very close vote is expected in Bradford, where voters will decide on March 21 on a bond to rehabilitate their vacated town hall.
Please send additional town meeting news to Maggie Stier at firstname.lastname@example.org, and check back for updates as we gather results and collect insights from local advocates.
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