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New Hampshire Community Mourns Loss, Celebrates Legacy, of Jeff Taylor

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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

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 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 ms@nhpreservation.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 Closes April 19 at Midnight

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Sleep in a yurt. Tour a castle, or royal governor’s or president’s home. Win tickets to moose tours or swan boat rides. How about a flying lesson or fly fishing and fly tying workshop?  You can also bid on a traditional New England dance with fiddling and calls by New Hampshire’s musical traditional arts treasures Dudley and Jacqueline Laufman, or a behind-the-scenes experience on a photo shoot with the editor of New Hampshire Home magazine, or on a tour of Distant Hill Gardens.  Over 100 unique gifts, behind-the-scenes tours, get-aways and valuable preservation services closes April 19 at midnight.

Looking for a gift? Enjoy stays at grand hotels, a hand-crafted item or book by a New Hampshire author. How about an energy assessment, kitchen design consultation or a barn assessment? Check out the many other special items donated by members and friends of the N.H. Preservation Alliance.

The N.H Preservation Alliance’s auction proceeds support the Preservation Alliance’s work with its Seven to Save and old barns and farms.

 

 

2015 Town Meeting Results

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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 ms@nhpreservation.org, and check back for updates as we gather results and collect insights from local advocates.  

 

Preservation Conference in Concord April 17

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 Keeping Our Place; New Realities for Historic Preservation in New Hampshire: April 17 in Concord.

Amid new trends in population, the economy, housing, transportation, and climate, this statewide gathering will raise awareness of the ways that New Hampshire is changing and what these changes mean for the preservation and protection of our historic buildings and community character. 

Through workshops, lectures, tours, and more, participants will learn from experts and see examples of how communities and organizations can leverage their historic assets to strengthen local economies, promote social interaction, and build a more resilient future.  Specific topics will include collaborations with conservation, agriculture and planning efforts; challenges and opportunities in historic downtowns; and new models for both municipalities and non-profits to manage and protect historic properties.  

Reception to follow the conference from 4:30pm-6:30pm.  

Information

On-line registration is closed but there are spaces left. Can register at conference, or call Maggie Stier at 334-1726.

Directions and Parking

Generous sponsors include Bedard Preservation and Restoration, Ian Blackman, LLC Restoration and Preservation, Merrimack County Savings Bank, N.H. Historical Society, ReVision Energy, and Fifield Building Relocation and RestorationElizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation ConsultantMilestone Engineering & Construction, Inc.N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, and Samyn-D’Elia Architects, PA, and BCM Environmental & Land Law, PLLC and Warrenstreet Architects, Inc.

Organizational Sponsors include AIA New HampshireIntown ConcordHistoric New EnglandJordan Institute and Resilient Buildings GroupNational Trust for Historic PreservationNew Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority, New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development Bureau of Historic SitesNew Hampshire Division of Historical ResourcesNew Hampshire Historical SocietyN.H. Land and Community Heritage Investment ProgramNew Hampshire Municipal AssociationNew Hampshire Vibrant Communities, Plan New HampshirePlymouth State University College of Graduate Studies, and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension

 

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 the state’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) which reviews, approves and monitors electric transmission, wind and other types of energy developments. Our goal is to help clarify and improve their processes related to historic resources. 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.   To find the name of your legislators, go to www.gencourt.state.nh.us/ie/whosmyleg/.  The Finance Committee members are listed at  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's lifetime, $258 million public and private resources have followed LCHIP seed grants ($30.0 million) - over $8 dollars for each $1 of LCHIP contribution.

 

Celebrate Preservation Awards May 12

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To honor outstanding work in its field, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance will celebrate excellence in restoration and stewardship, rehabilitation and adaptive use, compatible new construction, public policy, and educational and planning initiatives at its celebration 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 Studiosthe revitalization of Dearborn Memorial Hall/Odd Fellows Hall in Manchesterthe rehabilitation of the Hillsborough Mills for the Pine Valley Lofts in Milfordthe 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.

Generous program sponsors to date include Sheehan, Phinney, Bass + Green, PA, Dakota Properties, Inc., Eames Partnership, EnviroVantage, Hutter ConstructionMascoma Savings BankMerrimack County Savings BankMilestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., North Branch Construction, Sheerr McCrystal Palson Architecture, Inc.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

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