Seven rescue, rehabilitation and revitalization projects, three outstanding planning, education and advocacy initiatives, and two outstanding leaders of the preservation movement were honored in the NH Preservation Alliance’s annual awards on May 12.
“It is especially important time to recognize tenacious efforts to save our special places. We’re seeing the unprecedented impact of new out-of-state investment just as communities struggle to cope with the economic impact of Covid 19,” said Nicholas Mitchell, chairman of the Preservation Alliance’s board of directors. For more than thirty years, the statewide non-profit has recognized individuals, organizations, and corporations for rehabilitation and restoration projects as well as public policy, and educational and planning initiatives.
The winners include seven complex rescue, revitalization and rehabilitation projects in towns and cities ranging from 400 to over 40,000 in population:
Community Church of Eaton for the Steeple Restoration of the 1879 Little White Church A small-scale repair turned into a successful $195,000+ steeple project for the leaders of this much-photographed 1879 church, set between lake and mountains, in a town of 400 located south of Conway. In a practical and innovative move, the volunteer project leaders created a team of advisors to help a local contractor, Thomas Costello, get the job done.
Town of Franconia for the Restoration of Willow and Elmwood Cemetery Gates This project showcases a high level of commitment to an often neglected, replaced, or even removed feature of our cultural landscape: cemetery fences and gates. StandFast Works Forge provided high-quality problem solving and repair for the prominent but badly deteriorated entry gates at both cemeteries. Ironwork fences such as these were available through mail-order catalogs 100 years ago, and today help tell the story of the evolution of cemetery design and ornamentation.
Francestown Improvement and Historical Society for the Rescue and Revival of the Historic Long Store Building The rescue and revival of this 1814 building, central to daily life in Francestown, included a tenacious owner—the Improvement and Historical Society, an angel investor, over 200 generous community donors, committed advisors and supporters, and new tenants.
Goddard Block Limited Partnership, New England Family Housing for the Rehabilitation and Adaptive Use of the Goddard Block, Claremont This project transformed a condemned 1926 commercial building in the heart of Claremont’s downtown district for a new, mixed-use property including mixed-income housing and new ground-level commercial space helping to address the critical housing shortage across the state.
James Putnam for the Rehabilitation of the Hayward-Ellis House at 91 Court Street, Keene An impressive 1880 stick-style Victorian home was restored by its community-minded owner, returning an architecturally significant building to its original grandeur and giving it new life to meet modern needs.
GoodWork for the Rescue and Adaptive Use of the Carey Cottage at Creek Farm, Portsmouth Carey Cottage, one of the premier examples of gilded age shingle style architecture in New Hampshire, was fully rehabilitated by new investors to house offices for non-profit start-ups on the first floor and residential apartments on the second floor.
Kimball Jenkins, Concord, for the Restoration of the Mansion Slate Roof and Exterior Woodwork This award recognizes thoughtful planning, superb craftsmanship and “blue-ribbon” communication and outreach strategies that emphasized the importance of preservation tradespeople and historic preservation’s benefits.
Three outstanding planning, educational and advocacy initiatives were recognized:
City of Rochester’s Virtual Historic Map Project for Education and Planning The City of Rochester Planning & Development Department, Public Information Office and Historic District Commission collaborated to create a sleek virtual map that dramatically increased the public accessibility of information on historic resources in the City. The project cataloged and uploaded several hundred historic photos from the Rochester Historical Society into Google Earth, organized chronologically and designed to encourage exploration of the City’s rich history and encourage preservation.
Seacoast Reliability Project Historic Resources Team for Historic Preservation Planning, Rehabilitation and Education The Seacoast Reliability Project, a proposed 115 kilovolt transmission line between the Madbury and Portsmouth substations, exceeded state requirements and federally mandated compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act. The high-quality survey of archeological and historic resources yielded significant results, and a variety of mitigation measures included the temporary relocation and full rehabilitation of the historic Little Bay Underwater Terminal Cable House in Durham.
Currier Museum of Art and Save the Chandler House group for Leadership and Advocacy to Save the Chandler House, Manchester This award recognizes the tenacious leaders who prevented demolition of this grand residence built by a founder of the Amoskeag Mills, and created a positive preservation path forward under new ownership by the neighboring Currier Museum of Art.
The Preservation Alliance also recognized two outstanding leaders:
Eugene Reid, Canaan, VT/Colebrook, NH for Outstanding Leadership in Preservation Education Reid’s Building Construction & Restoration Carpentry program at Canaan High School has provided three generations of Vermont and New Hampshire high school students with hands-on training and experience restoring old buildings, including the Poore Family Farm in Stewartstown and the Judge Ripley House in Colebrook. Reid has brought his passion for old buildings into the curriculum of construction training that the high school offers, and has given his students unique opportunities to help restore the beauty of old homes and special places in northern Vermont and New Hampshire.
Chris Williams, Meredith for Outstanding Leadership in Preservation Planning and Advocacy Williams has had a lasting influence on preservation and architecture in N.H. He has rescued and revived dozens of historic buildings, and for over 35 years his architecture firm has shown a steadfast commitment to preservation and environmental sustainability. He helped with the 11th hour save of the Belmont Mill, and designed reconstructions or renovations at Canterbury Shaker Village and the University of New Hampshire. Williams was an early supporter of Main Street programs and an innovative historic preservation initiative for the Squam area, founded Latchkey charities to help address community needs in Meredith, and has served in volunteer roles with state and national organizations.
“We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and inspire others with these examples,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. “These are the kinds of places we can’t imagine New Hampshire without, and we want to recognize the people who have worked to save and revive these landmarks.” She noted community and economic impacts of the projects, and the importance of investments by the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, N.H. Housing and Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), municipalities, private investment and private philanthropy as well as significant partnerships.
Generous program sponsors include: The Rowley Agency; Hutter; Sheehan Phinney; Meridian Construction; Bedard Preservation & Restoration, LLC; Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc.; North Branch Construction; Brady Sullivan Properties; Arnold M. Graton Associates; Matuszewski & Associates Architects, LLC; Lavallee Brensinger Architects; Granite State Plumbing & Heating and The Duprey Companies.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places which strengthens communities and local economies. Information on new virtual assessments and virtual gatherings on varied preservation topics, planning grants and more available at www.nhpreservation.org.