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Opportunities to Support Preservation

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Please help the Preservation Alliance advocate for historic resources. Here are two timely opportunities:

Historic Places and Energy Projects: Input for Site Evaluation Committee Rule-Making -- The Alliance is offering recommendations to help clarify and improve the state’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) processes related to historic resources. The SEC reviews, approves and monitors electric transmission, wind and other types of energy developments. Contact Jennifer Goodman at jg@nhpreservation.org if you have questions or are interested in submitting comments before the upcoming March 13, 2015 rule-making deadline.   Information about the current rule-making project is at http://www.nhsec.nh.gov/projects/2014-04/index.htm.

Supporting Full, Dedicated Funding for LCHIP in State Budget: Consider opportunities to share with both new and long-time legislators  how LCHIP has – and, more importantly, will -- help your special places, your community, its people and its economic vitality. We are very pleased that Governor Maggie Hassan’s budget included full funding for the program and many legislative leaders have spoken out in support of the program or against raiding dedicated funds. The budget will face many pressures as it proceeds through the House and Senate, and we need your help to advocate for LCHIP at key points over the next 3-4 months of the process.

Ways you can help:

  • Attend an upcoming public hearing on the(WHOLE) budget and offer oral or written comments.
  • 3/5/2015 4:00 PM Representatives Hall, State House, Concord
  • 3/9/2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Kennet High School Auditorium, 409 Eagles Way, North Conway
  • 3/9/2015 5:00 PM - 8:00 PM Derry Town Hall, 14 Manning Street, Derry
  • Invite your legislators to see an LCHIP project in your community.
  • Send a note or email to your legislators.

Contact Jennifer Goodman at jg@nhpreservation.org for more information or to share your plans.   Information for members of the House is available at www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/whosmyleg/.  The Finance Committee list is: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/committees/committeedetails.aspx?code=H34

About LCHIP: The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program’s dedicated source of funding is used to protect and revive historic buildings and cultural resources and protect important natural resources. Revenue is derived from a fee collected on recorded documents at registries of deeds.  There is an enormous demand and need for the program. To date, LCHIP funds have helped 142 New Hampshire communities revive 159 historic structures and sites and conserve 264,000 acres to date. And, LCHIP is very effective at stimulating community investment from other sources.  Over the program lifetime, $258 million public and private resources have followed LCHIP seed grants ($30.0 million) - over $8 dollars for each $1 of LCHIP contribution.

 

Declaration of Independence Signer House Is Now For Sale

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Ruth Albert has struggled for years to decide on the best long-term stewardship strategy for a house that has been in her family for seven generations. Recently the house was listed for sale, and when a new buyer for the colonial home is found, the property of Josiah Bartlett, second signer of the Declaration of Independence, will be leaving the family for the first time since 1774. See more in a profile in the March/April issue of Yankee Magazine. Also check out the WMUR-TV Chronicle piece on the place here.

The Josiah Bartlett House was built on The Plains in Kingston in 1774, and has remained in the family since then. It is one of only 23 National Historic Landmarks in New Hampshire, and stands in a local historic district along the town common on approximately 20 acres of fields and woodlands. No family members are available to purchase the property, and Albert, now retired, and her husband, have decided on a smaller property.  

Realtor Donna Carter notes that the property is well-suited for a bed and breakfast or history enthusiasts.  Albert is working with the N.H. Preservation Alliance on a preservation easement for the house that mirrors elements of the local historic district’s protection. Other New Hampshire National Historic Landmarks include homes of Daniel Webster, Franklin Pierce and Robert Frost.

About Josiah Bartlett:

The young Josiah Bartlett (1729-1795) moved to Kingston from Amesbury, Massachusetts in 1750 to establish a medical practice. When Kingston suffered a second outbreak of “throat distemper” in 1754, Dr. Bartlett discovered a successful treatment with quinine. In that same year, he married his cousin Mary Bartlett (1730-1789). They had twelve children, eight of whom lived to adulthood. Three of Bartlett’s sons became physicians; Dr. Levi Bartlett (1763-1828) lived in the homestead.

An active patriot, Josiah Bartlett became involved in Colonial era politics and was a vocal critic of the British policies. In 1774, he was chosen as one of the two delegates from New Hampshire to the First Continental Congress. He was unable to serve that year however, because his home was destroyed by fire, thought to have been set by British loyalists, and re-building his home required his attention. However, in 1775 and 1776, he travelled to Philadelphia as a member of the Congress and was the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence and the next to sign after John Hancock. He brought a linden tree back with him from Philadelphia, and it grows large and strong today in front of the house where he planted it, nearly 240 years ago. It blooms each year around the Fourth of July.

Despite not being a lawyer, Bartlett became involved in the judicial system. He was appointed to the N.H. Supreme Court and became Chief Justice in 1788. He remained active in the medical field and received an honorary MD from Dartmouth College in 1790. During the final years of his life, Josiah Bartlett served as the fourth Governor of New Hampshire from 1790 to 1794.

About the property:

The large home was built in 1774 and “updated” in the 19th century with Greek Revival detailing. A historic barn also stands on the property. 

Realtor Donna Carter is handling the sale. Her number is 603-770-0516.

 

Govenor Hassan Continues Support for LCHIP

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The N.H. Preservation Alliance applauds the Governor Maggie Hassan’s support of the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program’s dedicated funding in the Governor’s FY14-15 budget.

LCHIP’s legislatively-mandated mission is to ensure the perpetual contribution of these resources to the economy, environment and the quality of life in New Hampshire. To date, LCHIP funds have helped 142 New Hampshire communities revive 159 historic structures and sites and conserve 264,000 acres to date.

 Additionally, LCHIP is very effective at stimulating community investment from other sources.  Over the program lifetime, $258 million public and private resources have followed LCHIP seed grants ($30.0 million) - over $8 dollars for each $1 of LCHIP contribution. Preservation projects support good-paying jobs and keep money circulating in local economies. Special places aided by LCHIP are also key features of New Hampshire communities and landscapes that, in turn, attract visitors and businesses.

"We appreciate the Governor's support and this is a great way for LCHIP to start the budget process," said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. The Alliance has been a long-time, leading advocate for the program. The budget proceeds to the N.H. House of Representatives, and then the N.H. Senate. 

There is an enormous demand and need for the program.  Our constituents come to us daily with critical preservation projects in need of nurture and funding; projects that reflect our shared history and once complete will not only preserve our cherished community landmarks for today and the future, but make needed contributions to our economic health.  

 

Preservation Awards Nominations Sought

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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 12, 2015.

Individuals, organizations and businesses are invited to submit nominations. Applications (with fillable fields) are available for construction projects or education, planning or advocacy initiatives. The awards will be presented in Concord on May 12, 2015 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. 

Last year’s winners featured the work of Historic Harrisville and Patricia Meyers as well as the rescue and restoration of the Webster Stagecoach Stop & Store in Danville; the restoration of the Allenstown Meeting House; the rehabilitation of a Main Street building in Ashland for Squam River Studios; the revitalization of Dearborn Memorial Hall/Odd Fellows Hall in Manchester; the rehabilitation of the Hillsborough Mills for the Pine Valley Lofts in Milford; the stewardship of Stark Park, Manchester; and the outstanding design of new addition for the Milford Readiness Center.

In previous years, the Preservation Alliance has presented awards for PSNH’s and PC Connection’s renovations of historic buildings for corporate headquarters, the restoration of the Acworth Meetinghouse, Gorham Town Hall and the Gregg Free Library in Wilton, the rescue of Daniel Webster Farm in Franklin and the Wentworth-by-the-Sea hotel in New Castle, residential property revitalizations by NeighborWorks Greater Manchester, the re-use of the Plymouth Railroad Station, the proactive policies of the Lighthouse Kids, Gunstock Mountain Resort and Gunstock Mountain Historic Preservation Society, and the Troy, Moultonborough and Goffstown heritage commissions.

Contact Goodman at 603-224-2281 or jg@nhpreservation.org for application materials or with any questions.

Generous program sponsors include Eames Partnership, Hutter ConstructionMascoma Savings BankMerrimack County Savings Bank, Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., and North Branch Construction.

 

Sponsors this past year were Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, Preservation Company, Common Man Family of Restaurants, Dakota Properties, Inc., Great Bridge Properties, North Branch Construction, Inc., Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation Consultant, Thurston Millwork and CMK Architects, P.A. 

 

 

 

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.

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 www.nhpreservation.org or call 603-224-2281. Applications are also available at www.revenue.nh.gov/forms/2010/documents/pa-36a.pdf.

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.

Barn preservation information will be showcased February 6-7, 2015 at the Farm and Forest Expo at the Center of NH - Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, NH. (See www.nhfarmandforestexpo.org for information.)

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 www.nhpreservation.org or contact Beverly Thomas at the Preservation Alliance at (603) 224-2281 or bt@nhpreservation.org.

 

 

Planning Grants Available

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The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announces that it is now accepting applications from non-profits and municipalities for grants to fund assessments or feasibility re-use studies of historic buildings. 

These planning grants are intended to provide a simple road map for appropriate treatments, cost estimates, and effective phasing for preservation work, or to develop re-use plans.  Over 20 projects have received funding to date, reported Maggie Stier, field service representative of the N.H. Preservation Alliance, noting that these grants have helped grant recipients make major progress toward their goals. The Players Ring in Portsmouth used the results of its assessment grant to complete roof and drainage work, insulate the building and re-negotiate their long-term lease with the City. The Middleton Heritage Commission used their assessment grant to study the Town Hall’s rare historic murals as well as overall building soundness and have received additional grants to treat the murals and the building. The Fells in Newbury completed a reconstruction of failing gutters and signature columns after receiving their assessment report on the historic summer home’s prominent veranda.  The failing porch at the Upper Village Hall in East Derry was repaired after a planning report outlined historical evidence and reconstruction standards, and today the local landmark is open to community uses again after facing the threat demolition.

The Preservation Alliance’s program is funded by a grant from the NH Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), and is designed to assist in saving and revitalizing community landmarks by providing a strong foundation for rehabilitation and re-use projects. Outcomes include success in attracting new uses, fund-raising, and management and completion of effective preservation work. “These activities support local jobs and local economies as well,” noted Stier. “We’re so appreciative of this strategic investment from LCHIP.”

The grants underwrite the services of experienced architects and/or preservation consultants or contractors who help clients understand the history and function of the building over time and identify and assess a building’s preservation needs.  Final written reports contain prioritized recommendations and estimates for what needs to be done, how to do it, and how much it will cost.  Grant awards may range from $1,000 to $4,500, and applicants must provide a 1:1 match, although total project costs may exceed $9,000. 

There are no application deadlines for the Alliance’s grant program. Applicants can expect a decision within eight weeks of acceptance of their completed application.  Pre-requisites include a site visit from the Preservation Alliance’s staff, and a determination from the N.H. Division of Historical Resources that the building is eligible for or listed to the N.H. State Register of Historic Places or the National Register of Historic Places.  The program excludes churches because of public sector grant-making limitations.  Grant guidelines and application forms are available at www.nhpreservation.org or by calling the N.H. Preservation Alliance at 603-224-2281.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the state-wide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through education and advocacy  through other programs and assistance for old house and barn owners, community leaders and volunteers, and stewards of landmark properties such as churches, granges, and schools.

 

Tips from Downton Abbey for Project Planning and Preservation

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Are you enjoying season 5 of Downton Abbey? At the Preservation Alliance, we appreciate the series as a period drama, and found some “lessons learned” for our day to day historic preservation activity that we want to share with our members and friends:

Get help with basic stewardship. Big, old houses can feel like a lot of responsibility. As you think ahead to spring projects, the good news for you: We bet your house isn’t as expensive to run as the Crawleys; phased plans for keeping up with maintenance or big projects really work; and the Preservation Alliance has referrals and information to help.

 Be prepared.   When there was a fire in episode one, Lord Gratham was ready with a hose and sand.  Help ensure the safety of your property and the people inside by making sure you’ve checked your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors this month, have practical plans in place for power outages, and safely manage ice dams and snow loads on roofs this winter.

Address change with research, innovations and open-mind.  At its best, preservation celebrates the history of a place, while finding ways to keep it in use for future generations.  On the show, Mary and Tom seem to have forged a productive alliance with Lord Gratham to find ways to improve the profitability of the estate. Will they find ways to protect what’s best of the old while introducing new methods and a new housing development? (Lord Grantham noted that it would be more difficult to strive for a high-quality development, but worth the effort.) In real life, shared uses, uses of new technologies, new business models, tools like easements and tax incentives are possible aids when a landmark structure needs a boost to remain or regain viability.

Send us your ideas about winter project planning and preservation tips to Beverly Thomas at bt@nhpreservation.org.

 

Best of 2014

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Here is our take on some of the best of 2014, as we head toward a new year. The Preservation Alliance is grateful for members, donors and other partners who have helped shape the organization that we are today (and helped many people, projects and issues along the way).  Some highlights:

  • Many notable ribbon-cuttings including: the redevelopment of the Cotton Mill in Nashua, Walker School in Concord, Dearborn Hall in Manchester, Pine Valley Lofts in Milford and the restoration of the Belmont Bandstand. And important progress at Wolfeboro Town Hall, Middleton Town Hall, Boscawen library, Cheshire Railroad Stone Arch in Keene, Brown Company Barns in Berlin, and gas holder building in Concord.
  • Next generation preservationists in action. For example, graduate students from the University of Vermont have conducted important N.H. barn surveys in Lancaster and Enfield.
  • The Town of Greenfield was the first to work on a new preservation tool for New Hampshire – neighborhood heritage districts—thanks to a grant from the N.H. Housing Finance Authority, the Putnam Foundation and support from the Alliance.
  • Many property owners including the 7th-generation owner of the Josiah Bartlett House in Kingston are taking on the challenge of finding new owners and good stewardship for long-held family properties.
  • With LCHIP fully-funded, its board made grants this month to 25 outstanding preservation projects, with more legislative support than ever in the program’s 14-year history.  [The Alliance continues to serve as a lead advocate for the program, and LCHIP winners have benefited from our technical services. Of the 25 this round, the Alliance provided coaching to 18, gave planning grants to 9, and named five to Seven to Save.]
  • Friends and colleagues of Rick and Duffy Monahon came together to create a new fund that honors the legacy of their work and provides seed monies for preservation projects.
  • We’re exploring barn preservation issues in depth, and engaging new folks along the way, thanks to generous support of Jane and Peter McLaughlin, Colin and Paula Cabot, Greg Flowers and a memorial gift from his parents, John and Patricia Flowers.
  • More people say they know more about preservation than they did a year ago, and preservation is more visible than ever thanks to the inter-related work of our partners such as N.H. Division of Historical Resources, LCHIP, PlanNH, the Jordan Institute, N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets and Food, AIA-NH, CDFA, and the Animal Rescue League of N.H.

In 2015, we’ll be:

  • Investing in innovative strategies:  focusing on pre-development assistance as a way to meet real needs and provide road maps for success. Family farms, Main Street properties and non-profit-owned structures will be priorities.
  • Investing in new constituents: building upon our many effective partnerships and connections to people in the preservation trades; showcasing the next generation of preservationists; recognizing great work and inspiring others.

Save these dates: Preservation Conference (April 17) and Statewide Awards (May 12).   Please contact executive director Jennifer Goodman at 224-2281 or jg@nhpreservation.org with any questions or suggestions.    

 

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