N.H. Preservation Alliance Recognizes Innovative Community Development Projects Investors Breathe New Life into Claremont, Concord, Effingham, Northwood and other Towns and Cities
Noting varied and important investments throughout the state, the N.H. Preservation Alliance announced ten achievement awards for outstanding historic preservation projects as well as three certificates of merit on May 9 in a ceremony in Concord. The projects breathe new life into communities across the state, and vary from the rehabilitation of an old store in Effingham to the revitalization of a long-vacant mill building in Claremont. In Concord, the Preservation Alliance will honor both the City’s revitalization of Main Street utilizing historic research and celebrating historic features, as well as the State of New Hampshire’s restoration of the State House Dome in preparation for the building’s bicentennial. The common thread between all the projects, according to the Preservation Alliance’s executive director Jennifer Goodman is “high-quality investments that benefit residents and visitors, and catalyze additional community development activities.” “The projects are all very complex,” she added, and “tenacity and creativity are also ingredients in all,” she said.
Four projects feature creative preservation solutions to revive and care for iconic historic buildings. The Effingham Preservation Society harnessed volunteer energy to complete a comprehensive rehabilitation of the 200-year old Weare Drake Store; they hosted concerts, presentations and weekly bake sales to breathe new life into the building and village center. In a project at Canterbury Shaker Village, project leaders honored the Shakers’ interest in new innovations and conveniences by preserving pressed tin ceilings and linoleum as they prepared the Trustee’s Office for new uses. Preservation Timber Framing worked with church leaders at the Northwood Congregational Church to remove, repair and creatively reinforce the prominent Doric columns on what is considered one of the finest examples of its types in Northern New England. The complete project also featured archeology and careful repair and restoration of the building’s whole exterior envelope. The team that worked on the State House dome restoration project developed a platform as part of the scaffolding system that allowed workers to be within inches of work surfaces and that can be adapted for future projects.
Three other projects have strong community and community development focuses. Ink Factory owners Jeff and Sarah Barrette turned the long-derelict Monadnock Mills Boarding House and Store House #5 into the home of their screen printing and embroidery business. The project is a boon to the Barrette’s business, their five employees, and downtown Claremont. According to Jeff, “I really want Claremont to thrive and the more success we have here, the more success there will be for everybody around it.” Karen Bouffard executed a high-quality rehabilitation of an unusual one and one-half story house and shop on State Street in Portsmouth, instead of considering demolition and new construction in an area of the state with high market pressure. After Portsmouth’s disastrous fire of 1813, the Brick Act stipulated that buildings taller than one story needed to be built of fire-resistant brick. The then-owner couldn’t afford it, and the wood frame house became the exception, and it still is 200 years later. The award for the City of Concord’s Main Street revitalization applauds the project leader’s methods and goals to enhance downtown’s economic vitality, improve safety for all, promote the historic fabric and character of Concord, increase ADA access to storefronts, and create new spaces for outdoor dining and public gatherings.
Several award-winning projects also exemplify the importance of education, innovation and community engagement. The Preservation Alliance’s award for David Adams recognizes his early and enduring impact on the preservation movement in Portsmouth and beyond – through civic engagement on the historic district commission and as mentor to many with his preservation construction company. Since he was fifteen years old, he was fascinated with 18th century construction. Upon moving to Portsmouth, he established Dodge, Adams & Roy, a pioneering firm responsible for restoring countless historic properties, including the Governor John Langdon and Governor Benning Wentworth Houses and the Langley Boardman and Rundlet-May houses. Most recently, David embarked on re-restoring his 1743 house, which suffered from fire damage in 2012 after thirty years of hard work. The process was captured on video in a series called The Craftsmen’s Journal. Second, an award to the Manchester Historical Association recognizes their deep involvement in historic preservation activities for the last two decades and their ongoing, impactful commitment to document, educate, and advocate. Lastly, when Stratham’s historic Lane Homestead was for sale in 2015 and a development proposal called for demolishing much of the complex, the Town of Stratham and its Heritage Commission rallied support for the site’s protection. The five acre property stands at a gateway to town and holds a rich history. Borrowing a model from the land conservation community, the Town worked with the seller, buyer, and the Preservation Alliance to purchase a preservation easement for this landmark property with generous funding approved by town voters and a grant from LCHIP.
Special guests and past award winners Executive Councilor Joseph Kenney, developer John Stabile, Senator Martha Fuller Clark and dairy specialist and barn preservation advocate John Porter will help introduce the awards. “We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and while hopefully inspiring others,” said Goodman. “These are the kinds of places we can’t imagine New Hampshire without,” she said, “and we want to recognize the people who have worked to save and revive these landmarks.” It is the Alliance’s 28th year of honoring preservation achievement.
Goodman noted that the Stratham project had been on the Alliance’s Seven to Save list of endangered properties in the past, and emphasized the tenacity of the private developers and community advocates as well as the importance of investments by the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) in five of the projects. Federal historic preservation tax credits were instrumental in another.
Generous awards program sponsors include Sheehan Phinney, AECm, LLC, Artistic Tile, LLC, The Common Man Family of Restaurants, Lavallee Bresinger Architects, Meredith Bohn Interior Design, Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., Selectwood and Christopher P. Williams Architects, PLLC.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places which strengthens communities and local economies.
Current priorities include providing assistance to community leaders, helping owners of long-held family farms and promoting the use of easements, barn preservation and tax incentives.
The list of winners:
- Effingham Preservation Society for rehabilitation of the Weare Drake Store Building
- Canterbury Shaker Village for outstanding rehabilitation of the Trustees’ Office
- Northwood Congregational Church for restoration and rehabilitation of its landmark building
- State of New Hampshire for restoration of the State House Dome
- Jeff and Sarah Barrette for the revitalization of the Monadnock Mills Boarding House/Store House #5 for the Ink Factory Clothing Co.
- Karen Bouffard for the rehabilitation of 100-2 State Street, Portsmouth
- City of Concord for rehabilitation and revitalization of Concord’s Main Street
- David Adams for outstanding contributions to the field of historic preservation
- Manchester Historical Association for outstanding historic preservation education and outreach
- Town of Stratham for its preservation of the Lane Homestead
Merit awards to:
- Town of Hillsborough and the Trustees of the Fuller Public Library for the rehabilitation of the Fuller Public Library/ John Butler Smith House
- Windham Presbyterian Church for restoration of its bell tower
- Hampton Town Clock Committee for the rescue and restoration of the Hampton Town Clock