Many Preservationist Make Achievement List
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 www.nhhc.org. 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?
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 603-224-2281
- Plan to attend a hearing on the draft Environmental Impact Statement and comment on the historic resources part of the document. http://www.northernpasseis.us/. The lead federal agency, the Department of Energy, has offered a 90-day comment period starting when the project is officially posted in the Federal Register (soon), and set hearing dates for October 6 in Concord, October 7 in Whitefield, October 8 in Plymouth.
- Send comments on the Project Area Forms (PAFs) to the Department of Energy, part of the Section 106 historic preservation review process, a "sister" of the environmental review process. The NH Preservation Alliance is happy to review a draft of your letter; we can also share sample comment letters to help you get started.
To date, project consultants have produced four Project Area Forms that cover the entire proposed Northern Pass route. These are general documents that establish themes and identify places for further evaluation to see if they meet the test for National-Register eligibility, and are located within the area of visual influence (AVI) or, if outside it, are worthy of consideration because of exceptions that include significance of the setting
At first, the U.S. Department of Energy did not release these PAF’s to the general public, but they now have. The documents are at http://www.northernpasseis.us/consultations/section106.
You will see that addresses and owners names on privately-owned properties have been redacted. This makes it all the more important the local advocates look at the photographs and maps carefully and try to determine WHAT HAS BEEN MISSED. Then provide your comments, in writing, to the Department of Energy, and cc the Alliance and other parties (see list that follows).
The NH Division of Historical Resources (DHR) is reviewing these forms at 2-week intervals, and has already provided general comments about the methodology and changes they’d like to see in the first 3. You can see their comments under the appropriate section at this website: http://www.northernpasseis.us/consultations/section106/ In part, they have asked that the maps include clearer labeling, and that the photographs be more clearly keyed to the data. They have also asked for a more thorough examination of potential historic resources. In your letter, you might echo such concerns and cite specific places that you are concerned about and that may have been missed in these overview documents, or make the case for consideration of historic resources outside the 2-mile corridor. You might also want to request reconsideration of the decision to evaluate impacts of the towers during leaf-on conditions; we have already heard that many advocates feel this is inappropriate given the long winter season here.
DHR has already reviewed and provided similar comments on three of the four forms. The last one—Merrimack Valley—will be discussed next Wednesday, July 22; we expect their comments will be in line with what they have already suggested for changes to the previously-reviewed forms. Much more work lies ahead to evaluate individual resources and determine impacts, and public comment is a vital part of that on-going process.
The Department of Energy has set deadlines to encourage timely public feedback on the Project Area Forms. Even if you’ve missed the first deadline, we encourage you to submit comments as soon as you can.
Requested comments are due as follows:
White Mountains Area Form (due last Friday, July 10)
Great North Woods – (due Friday, July 17, 2015)
Lakes Region – Friday, July 31, 2015
Merrimack Valley – Friday, Aug 7, 2015
Address your written comments to Brian Mills via mail to US Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Ave SW, OE-20, Washington, DC 20585 or via email to email@example.com.
Send copies of your comments to the Alliance and related organizations.
Here are addresses to use:
NH Division of Historical Resources, Richard Boisvert, Deputy Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
NH Preservation Alliance, Maggie Stier, email@example.com
National Trust for Historic Preservation, Rebecca Harris, firstname.lastname@example.org
Later web-postings and emails from the Alliance will talk about other actions you can take.
Questions? Suggestions? Contact Maggie Stier at email@example.com.
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 on October 21.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
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