Gifts for the Preservationist on Your List

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If you’re looking for a holiday gift for a do-it-yourselfer, an owner of an old house or barn, or simply someone who loves New Hampshire’s historic buildings, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance offers a hassle-free shopping option.  Our Window Weatherization Kit includes everything to tighten up your drafty wood windows while preserving their historic charm.  A few jars of our new private label Preservation Alliance Preserves will sweeten your favorite preservationist’s toast or sandwich.  More on these items, books for all ages, and combination packages that include gift memberships at

NEW ITEM: Sure to bring a smile is this new holiday gift, a special pairing of preservation briefs and a print-out of a National Park Service Preservation Brief. Choose from a list of 47 topics (below) that provide guidance on preserving and rehabilitating aspects of historic buildings. Sizes: men's medium, large and extra large. $20 for set includes shipping. Call 603-224-2281 or email to place your order. Thanks to Eric Paulson, Pat Meyers and others for inspiration and production assistance.


Which Preservation Brief topic would you like to include in the gift set?

Cleaning and Water-Repellent Treatments for Historic Masonry Buildings
Repointing Mortar Joints in Historic Masonry Buildings
Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Buildings
Roofing for Historic Buildings
The Preservation of Historic Adobe Buildings
Dangers of Abrasive Cleaning to Historic Buildings
The Preservation of Historic Glazed Architectural Terra-Cotta
Aluminum and Vinyl Siding on Historic Buildings: The Appropriateness of Substitute Materials for Resurfacing Historic Wood Frame Buildings
The Repair of Historic Wooden Windows
Exterior Paint Problems on Historic Woodwork
Rehabilitating Historic Storefronts
The Preservation of Historic Pigmented Structural Glass (Vitrolite and Carrara Glass)
The Repair and Thermal Upgrading of Historic Steel Windows
New Exterior Additions to Historic Buildings: Preservation Concerns
Preservation of Historic Concrete
The Use of Substitute Materials on Historic Building Exteriors
Architectural Character—Identifying the Visual Aspects of Historic Buildings as an Aid to Preserving their Character
Rehabilitating Interiors in Historic Buildings—Identifying Character-Defining Elements
The Repair and Replacement of Historic Wooden Shingle Roofs
The Preservation of Historic Barns
Repairing Historic Flat Plaster—Walls and Ceilings
The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stucco
Preserving Historic Ornamental Plaster
Heating, Ventilating, and Cooling Historic Buildings: Problems and Recommended Approaches
The Preservation of Historic Signs
The Preservation and Repair of Historic Log Buildings
The Maintenance and Repair of Architectural Cast Iron
Painting Historic Interiors
The Repair, Replacement, and Maintenance of Historic Slate Roofs
The Preservation and Repair of Historic Clay Tile Roofs
Mothballing Historic Buildings
Making Historic Properties Accessible
The Preservation and Repair of Historic Stained and Leaded Glass
Applied Decoration for Historic Interiors: Preserving Historic Composition Ornament
Understanding Old Buildings: The Process of Architectural Investigation
Protecting Cultural Landscapes: Planning, Treatment and Management of Historic Landscapes
Appropriate Methods of Reducing Lead-Paint Hazards in Historic Housing
Removing Graffiti from Historic Masonry
Holding the Line: Controlling Unwanted Moisture in Historic Buildings
Preserving Historic Ceramic Tile Floors
The Seismic Retrofit of Historic Buildings: Keeping Preservation in the Forefront
The Maintenance, Repair and Replacement of Historic Cast Stone
The Preparation and Use of Historic Structure Reports
The Use of Awnings on Historic Buildings: Repair, Replacement and New Design
Preserving Historic Wooden Porches
The Preservation and Reuse of Historic Gas Stations
Maintaining the Exterior of Small and Medium Size Historic Buildings






Thanksgiving Reminds Us

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Thinking about what you're thankful for this week? Thanksgiving reminds us that so many of YOU are working to preserve and protect places that define our New Hampshire heritage, whether it's a public library, a town hall, a historic mill or a legacy farm. We're working to support YOUR efforts and are thankful for these strong collaborations.

We're also thankful that:
More people are weatherizing their homes and businesses. While we often hear that new is better, the only commercial buildings more energy efficient than those built before 1920 are those built after 2000. Consider giving our window weatherization kit to someone as a holiday gift.

New Hampshire has top-notch preservation tradespeople who are helping property owners make wise investments, reduce energy costs and maintain the historic legacy of our villages, farms and downtowns. See our Directory listings.

Members, sponsors, and others generously contribute to the Preservation Alliance. Support for this year's Annual Fund makes more preservation success possible! We're featuring this photo by Steve Booth in our appeal materials this year. We selected it to remind folks of our past successes, and the work ahead, with farms and barns and other special places. It is also an opportunity to showcase one of our Preservation Alliance partners, Sanborn Mills Farm.



Veterans Day Message: Save Hall of Flage

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The Seven to Save listing of the Hall of Flags in Concord’s Statehouse by the N.H. Preservation Alliance a few weeks ago should come as a wakeup call this Veterans Day.  More than 33,000 New Hampshire men served in the Civil War, almost 10% of the state’s population at the time.  More than 30 won the Congressional Medal of Honor for their courage.  Almost 5,000 never came home, and thousands more were wounded. They fought at Cold Harbor, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Fort Sumter. They fought to preserve the Union, and to end slavery. The flags they carried and brought home were more than symbols; they marked the front line of battle and guided men amid the chaos and smoke of war. The bullets and the blood of battle still mark the flags.


Over the last hundred years, a variety of attempts have been made to preserve these Civil War flags, as well as flags from other conflicts. For the past two decades, the people entrusted with their care have solicited various condition assessments and treatment proposals, but there has been no action.  The NH General Court’s Joint Legislative Historical Committee continues to try to seek consensus on a conservation plan for the flags, wishing to keep the originals on view for the thousands of visitors who come to the building each year.   There is also an effort to preserve the room and its appearance for the upcoming 200th anniversary of the State House in 2019.  While all agree on the value of these emblems of service, decisions about how to care for this iconic room and assure the preservation of its flags have yet again been delayed.  For the soldiers who sacrificed and died for our nation, and for the generations of men and women who have helped defend our liberty one thing is clear: we can do better.


Maggie Stier, Field Service Representives, N.H. Preservation Alliance, November 11, 2015


New Seven to Save Announced

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The Hall of Flags at the New Hampshire Statehouse and the former residence of three Catholic bishops across the street from the Currier Museum in Manchester top the Seven to Save list, released today by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance.  Seven to Save is a highly sought-after designation that helps places in crisis to get broader attention, a boost from investors, and an opportunity to engage more people in creative solutions for important historic places. 


There is growing concern about the condition and long term preservation of the flags, a collection which began after the Civil War when the battle flags of New Hampshire regiments were returned and put on display here.  Some are bloodstained and bullet-ridden; all are emblems of valor and sacrifice.


Bishop Libasci of Manchester has extended theNovember 30th deadline for the Chandler House, also known as St. Hedwig Convent, to be sold and moved off its Walnut Street lot or demolished.  (The new schedule is unclear to the Alliance at this point). The house is said to have the finest Victorian interiors in the city and perhaps in the state.  If you are interested in buying it, or know of an available lot in the city that could be acquired by a prospective buyer, contact Maggie Stier at 603-224-2281 or


The town hall in Rye and the Oceanic Hotel on Star Island, part of the Isles of Shoals, also made the list.  Voters in Rye are divided on whether to invest in rehabilitating their town hall, and the Star Island Corporation needs much more help to stabilize and upgrade their sprawling older facility perched on a rocky coastline.  Two others on the list, the Lane Homestead in Stratham and the Pickering House in Wolfeboro are landmark residential complexes that are now on the market.  Beloved by locals and important for the history they represent, there are no protections to prevent the next owner from demolishing them.  St. Kieran Community Center for the Arts in Berlin also made the list.  It is a former church that serves as a vibrant performing and visual arts center, yet upkeep of the building has reached a critical tipping point for its non-profit managers. 



The 2015 list with photos is here.


“These highly visible places are extraordinary examples of architecture and craftsmanship, significant to their communities, and important for their connections to local and state history.  Their future survival depends on building greater awareness, attracting new resources, and engaging a range of preservation strategies to keep them viable into the future,” said Seven to Save chair and board member Hunter Ulf.   “Preservation activity is valuable because it contributes to the character of communities and the economic vitality of the state,” Ulf added.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance made its announcement at two events in Concord on October 21, a legislative and press gathering at the Statehouse and a public ceremony and reception at 7 Eagle Square.  Local advocates for each project highlighted the needs, opportunities and benefits of saving the places on the 2015 list, and a brief annual meeting honored retiring board members Linda Upham-Bornstein of Lancaster and Kenneth Viscarello of Manchester.  



Three previous Seven to Save sites in the Concord area  (all in 2013) hosted visitors before the announcement ceremony, including a presentation at the Concord Gasholder by owner Liberty Utilities, though admittance to the inside of the building was not permitted. Recently, the round brick Gasholder has received unprecedented attention as its owners debate the future of the damaged brick structure, the only one of its type in the country to survive with its interior mechanisms still intact. The Kimball Jenkins Estate on North Main Street and Boscawen’s 1913 Library on King Street were also open for Alliance members and visitors to learn about efforts to preserve and re-use their historic spaces. 


This year’s list is the tenth since Seven to Save began in 2006.  “The Alliance is proud of its record,” noted Maggie Stier, who heads the Seven to Save program for the Preservation Alliance.  “Over half the listed properties have moved from threatened status to saved or are on the way to being saved.”  Success stories presented at the event included town halls in Kensington, Langdon, Middleton, and Wolfeboro, and unusual resources like the Mill Pond Dam in Durham, the Iron Furnace in Franconia, and the Stone Arch Bridge in Keene. 

Criteria for Seven to Save include the property’s historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which Seven to Save listing would help in preserving or protecting the property. 

Seven to Save program sponsors include the Lewis Family Foundation, Christopher P. Williams Architects, PLLC; Ian Blackman LLC Restoration and Preservation; Irish Electric Corporation; Norton Asset Management; Dennis Mires P.A. The Architects; Iron Horse Standing Seam Roofing; HEB Engineers, Inc.; CMK Architects P.A.; and Meridian Construction.

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

Additional on past listees here.


Use of Barn Tax Incentive Continues to Grow

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Eighty-eight towns and cities in New Hampshire are now using the state's tax incentive program to encourage historic barn preservation. According to data collected by the N.H. Department of Revenue Administration, by the close of 2014, 480 historic structures were enrolled in the program. RSA 79D authorizes towns and cities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barn or other older farm buildings, and agree to maintain them throughout a minimum 10-year preservation easement.  Check here for more information on how to participate in the program. Click here and here for recent profiles from the Concord Monitor.

Randolph was the newest municipality to join the program. Meredith and Rumney joined the previous year.  Peterborough continues to lead the state with the number of structure protected at 23, with Deerfield and Plainfield tied for second at 18, and Cornish and Kensington tied for third at 17 each. Hopkinton, Concord, Fitzwilliam, Orford, Alton, Loudon, Lyme, New Boston and Sandwich all have ten or more structures aided and protected.

“We are encouraged that the use of the barn tax incentive program continues to grow,” said Beverly Thomas, Program Director, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. “People across the state and their municipal leaders understand the significance of these historic structures, the opportunities to continue to use them in creative ways, and the value these barns bring to the scenic landscape of their communities,” she said.

Modeled after the state's open space discretionary easement program, the barn tax incentive allows municipalities to grant property tax relief to barn owners who can demonstrate the public benefit of preserving their barns or other old farm buildings while agreeing to maintain their structures through a 10-year renewable easement. In return, the local selectboard or city council provides tax relief of 25% to 75% of the full assessed value of the building and the land underneath it. In addition, the assessment will not increase as a result of maintenance or repair work that is performed while the easement is in effect.

Carl Schmidt, chair of the N.H. Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee, is encouraged by the continued growth of the program but also noted that "this important tool is still under-utilized and I hope that more barn owners and municipalities embrace this opportunity to help save an essential part of our state’s character."  He commented that municipalities with strong barn preservation advocates or an active heritage commission or other group that helps guide selectboards or city councils make a big difference in the use of this tool.

 Barn owners interested in applying for the incentive to become effective in the coming tax year need to apply by April 15, 2015. Also of note is that easements that went into effect in the third year of the program (2005) for a ten-year term will expire on March 31, 2015. Property taxes on the relevant structures may then increase unless the easements are renewed.  Applications for renewal, like new applications, must be submitted to your local Selectboard on N.H. DRA form PA-36-A no later than April 15, 2015.

Applications can be obtained from your town office or download an information packet with application from the Alliance’s web-site or call 603-224-2281. Applications are also available at

Additional features of the comprehensive barn preservation initiative directed by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources and the Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee include barn assessment grants, publications, tours and workshops, an information network, and a voluntary survey program. The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the state's nonprofit membership organization committed to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through leadership, education and advocacy. The New Hampshire Historic Agricultural Structures Advisory Committee was established by state legislation in 1999 to support the preservation of N.H.’s historic barns and agricultural structures. The committee is comprised of representatives from state agencies, non-profit organizations and agricultural leaders.

Interested in a Road Map to Repair or Restore Your Old Barn?

 The N.H. Preservation Alliance provides competitive assessment grants for a barn preservation expert to comprehensively assess barns’ needs and issue an in-depth report.  Over 100 barn owners across New Hampshire have used these reports to address immediate stabilization and repair needs and general care and up-keep as well as tackle re-use strategies, budgeting and long-tem revitalization plans.

 The matching grants are available on a rolling basis.  Check or contact Beverly Thomas at the Preservation Alliance at (603) 224-2281 or



Many Preservationist Make Achievement List

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It’s not surprising, but still inspiring, to see the number and variety of preservationists who made the New Hampshire Humanities Council’s list of 40 New Hampshirites who have “enriched our human understanding and whose original works and passion for excellence have put New Hampshire on the cultural map.” 

People in the business who have gone “above and beyond” such as James Garvin, Byron Champlin and Van McLeod. Wonderful writers who have built awareness of New Hampshire’s special places and traditions including Donald Hall, Ken Burns, Dayton Duncan and Howard Mansfield.  Steve Taylor and John Harrigan and others who connect our history, lands and buildings together and communicate those ideas in inspirational ways.  And local leaders who have changed how we think about history and dramatically improved local places like Valerie Cunningham, Jerri Ann Boggs, and Jim and Judy Putnam.

Descriptions of these wonderful folks at We're sure you can think of others! Congratulations and thank you to all 40, and happy 40th anniversary to the N.H. Humanities Council.


Concerned about Northern Pass’s impact on historic places?

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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.  

On October 7, the National Trust 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.   

Here’s what you can do:

  • 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, or call 603-224-2281
  • Your voice matters! Attend an upcoming hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Northern Pass on  December 15, 16 or 17 and share your concerns about impacts to historic resources.
  • Donate to support our work on this issue.

The Preservation Alliance and National Trust are also very involved in the project's Section 106 process and rule-making for the SEC. Let us know if we can help you advocate for special places in New Hampshire that we can’t imagine our communities without.

Questions? Contact Maggie Stier, or call 603-224-2281



14 Projects Receive Preservation Achievement Awards

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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



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