Santa Arrives by Dog Team, a Family Charity Event in Waterville Valley
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2010 "Seven to Save" list announced - Laconia Theater, Berlin research buildings, and historic windows top the list

Gilford, NH - In the shadow of the 70-meter ski jump at Gunstock Mountain Resort, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance tonight announced its 2010 Seven to Save list, recognizing the most threatened historic resources in the state as a way to help preserve them.  The ski jump was named to the list last year. 

Landmarks of twentieth-century industrial and social history are prominent on this year’s list.  Named to the list are: the Colonial Theater in Laconia, the Mill Pond Dam in Durham, the Odd Fellows Hall in Warner, Pulpit Rock Tower in Rye, the Print Shop at the Mount Washington Hotel, the Research and Development Buildings of the former Brown Paper Company in Berlin, and  Historic Windows, statewide.

Advocates emphasize that these landmarks are irreplaceable assets, and they help tell stories of past generations that are locally, regionally and nationally significant and important to our future. "Stewardship or revival of these places has many benefits, including the conservation of high quality materials and workmanship as well as the creation of local jobs and other economic spin-offs," said Maggie Stier, field service representative of the N.H. Preservation Alliance in association with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The industrial heritage of water power in this state is represented by both the Mill Pond Dam in Durham and the Print Shop at the Mount Washington Hotel.  In Durham, the 1913 Ambursen-type dam at the falls of the Oyster River is the most recent of a series of water-powered mills going back to the mid-1700’s.  In Bretton Woods, the only water-powered print shop in the state still stands intact, though deteriorating, since it stopped printing menus, golf score cards, and even a short-lived newspaper for guests at the hotel.  Advocates hope that the building and all its machinery can be put back in working order as a visitor attraction someday. 

Twentieth-century innovation and world war associations are represented by Berlin’s R & D buildings, where some of the leading scientists of post World War I America brought new profitability to the forest products industry by inventing such things as masking tape and kraft paper, and in Rye’s Pulpit Rock Tower, built as part of a World War II coastal defense system to protect the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard from enemy attack.

The final listing added Historic Windows, Statewide to the threatened and endangered roster.  Rebecca Williams of the National Trust for Historic Preservation emphasized that "old windows are one of the most distinctive, character-defining features of older homes, mills, churches, grange halls and retail stores, yet there are truckloads of old windows heading to dumps across the state each week because of misinformation about energy savings and "new-is-better" attitudes."  Owners are often unaware of strong evidence that saving windows can be cost-effective, she said.  Repair and re-tuning can make an old window serve well beyond the 15- 20 year expected lifespan of most replacement windows.  Retaining windows, properly repairing and weather-stripping them, and using effective storm window protection can be comparable to new windows in energy costs and insulating value. 

The 2010 Seven to Save announcement included the annual meeting of the Preservation Alliance.  More than a hundred people attended, including those representing the historic structures on the list, and showed unanimous support and encouragement for this effort to protect New Hampshire’s heritage.

The Alliance’s Seven to Save program recognizes endangered historic properties in need of attention and resources, and highlights the challenges to these historic landmarks, villages, main streets and rural communities that are facing New Hampshire citizens.  Selection criteria include historic significance, severity of threat and the potential impact of the listing.
Michael Tule of Milford, who chairs the Seven to Save Committee for the Preservation Alliance’s Board of Directors, underlined the value of the program by noting that "of the 28 sites named to the list since it was started in 2006, we consider over half of them now out of danger and ‘saved.’"  Notable successes include recently completed renovations at the Ashland School and Manchester’s first high school.  Other past listings that have made strong progress include the Langdon Meetinghouse, Franconia’s Iron Furnace, the Upper Village Hall in East Derry, and the Great Stone Dwelling at the Enfield Shaker Museum. 

Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, told the audience that  New Hampshire’s Seven to Save program, begun in 2006, was patterned after the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s model.  "This program is a way for us to bring focused attention and assistance to a group of highly important projects each year.  We give priority to helping Seven to Save projects through our field service program, and we know funders give these projects extra consideration too," she said.

The ski resort hosted the event in celebration of the progress that advocates there have made in building support for restoring the historic ski jumps, resurrecting a ski-jumping program, and bringing greater awareness to the area’s prominent role in the history of both Nordic and Alpine skiing in North America.  Originally known as the Belknap Mountain Recreation Area, the ski jump and surrounding slopes and park were built with WPA funding, providing welcome jobs to scores of unemployed men during the 1930’s. 

The 2010 Seven to Save program is generously sponsored by Anagnost Investments, Bedard Preservation and Restoration, McLane Law Firm, Lavasseur Electrical Contractors, Inc., Milestone Engineering & Construction; TMS Architects; and Mamakating Electric Co., Inc.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through education and advocacy.  Current priorities include providing assistance to community leaders; promoting the use of easements, barn preservation and tax incentives; and connecting property owners to weatherization information.

Descriptions of the 2010 Seven to Save:

Colonial Theater, Laconia
This 1914 theater had been converted into several smaller cinemas before it closed altogether, but its elaborate interior of marble, frescos and gilt work is still intact.  The City of Laconia now has an 18-month option to purchase the property and is seeking a workable strategy to restore it and bring new vibrancy to the downtown.

Mill Pond Dam, Durham
Built in 1913, this is the oldest Ambursen-type dam in N.H..  Structural deficiencies mean the dam must be repaired or it will be removed.  Advocates argue that a dam has stood here since the 1670’s, is a key part of the historic district, and should be preserved, while opponents favor a restored free-flowing river ecosystem. 

Odd Fellows Hall, Warner
This towering Victorian structure was built in 1893 by the Odd Fellows fraternal organization. The building has also housed classrooms, a pharmacy, and newspaper offices. Now vacant, the structure needs significant investment to be usable again.  A recent town meeting vote favors preservation, but costs may be prohibitive.

Pulpit Rock Tower, Rye
Pulpit Rock Tower was built during World War II to support the Portsmouth Harbor Defense Command’s coastal fortifications system.  It was the only New England post built in cylindrical form.  Owned by NH Fish & Game, the long-neglected tower is now being cared for by a friends group who hope to raise funding to permanently protect it. 

Print Shop, Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods
The Print Shop, built when the hotel opened in 1902, was the only water-powered printing press in NH.  It produced the hotel’s daily menus, signs, golf scorecards, and a short-lived newspaper, "The Bugle of Bretton Woods."   Neglected for many years, it survives with its interior equipment almost totally intact.  Local advocates are working with the hotel and printing buffs to explore restoration and re-use.

Brown Company, R&D Buildings, Berlin
This commercial complex was one of the earliest privately owned industrial research and development facilities in the U.S.  The building opened in 1915, and over the next 50 years pioneered innovations in the wood pulp and paper industries.  Brown Company abandoned the building in 1968; some portions were rehabilitated by James River Corporation. Recent EPA grants are funding environmental  cleanup. 

Historic Windows, Statewide
Original windows are one of the most visible and important features of historic buildings, yet  consumers are replacing them in record numbers because of misinformation about energy savings and "new-is-better" attitudes.  With repair, weather-stripping, and using effective storm window protection, old windows can serve well beyond the 15- 20 year expected lifespan of most vinyl replacement windows and be comparable to new windows in energy costs and insulating value. 

Key contacts for the 2010 Seven to Save

Colonial Theater, Laconia
Eileen Cabanel, City Manager, 603-527-1270,

Mill Pond Dam, Durham
Andrea Bodo, Durham Heritage Commission, 603-868-5571,

Odd Fellows Hall, Warner
David E. Hartman, Warner Selectman, 603-456-2298,

Pulpit Rock Tower, Rye
Patricia Weathersby, Friends of Pulpit Rock Tower, 603-373-0646,

Print Shop, Mt. Washington Hotel, Bretton Woods
Barry Sondern, General Manager, Omni Mt. Washington Hotel, 603-278-1000

Brown Company, R&D Buildings, Berlin
Jim Wagner, 603-723-3720,

Historic Windows, Statewide
NH Preservation Alliance, 603-224-2281,


2009:  The Mill at Mill Hollow, East Alstead; First Parish Church, East Derry; The New England Center, UNH, Durham; Iron Furnace, Franconia; Grace United Methodist Church, Keene; 70-Meter Ski Jump, Gilford; Brewster Memorial Hall, Wolfeboro

2008:  Holy Resurrection church in Berlin, Kimball House in Canaan, Langdon’s Meetinghouse, Pandora Mill in Manchester, Livery Building (Old Town Hall) in Sunapee, Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton, and New Hampshire’s metal truss bridges.

2007:  Acworth Meetinghouse, Ashland’s Historic School, Whittier Covered Bridge in Ossipee, Manchester’s First High School, St. Anne Church of Manchester, Burley-DeMeritt Farmhouse in Lee, and Upper Village Hall in East Derry.

2006: Enfield Shaker Village’s Great Stone Dwelling, Hilltop School in Somersworth, Philbrook Farm Inn in Shelburne, the Stone Arched Bridge in Keene, Franco-American Center in Manchester, Epsom’s Historic Meetinghouse, and New Hampshire’s State Historic Sites. 


Jennifer Goodman
Executive Director
N.H. Preservation Alliance
7 Eagle Square
Concord, NH  03301 <>
603-224-2281 ext 12