April Vacation Week at the Currier Museum of Art
Concord Main Street Project Groundbreaking Ceremony

“New Realities for Historic Preservation” Conference in Concord April 17

Concord, N.H. – The biennial statewide preservation conference, Keeping Our Place:  New Realities for Historic Preservation in New Hampshire, comes to Concord on Friday, April 17.  Sponsored by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, the gathering brings together volunteer leaders, preservation professionals, and members of the real estate, design and construction industries who share a commitment to preserving the historic character of New Hampshire’s cities, towns and rural landscapes.  “Energy and climate concerns, demographic trends, and a changing economy are all affecting how we preserve our historic buildings and help make places where people want to live, work and visit,” says Maggie Stier, field service representative for the Alliance and the event’s lead organizer.  “New incentives, tools, and business strategies are emerging to keep our work dynamic and effective.” 



WHO:  Byron Champlin, Concord City Councilor and Chair, Chamber of Commerce of Greater Concord; Lorraine Merrill, Commissioner, N.H. Department of Agriculture, Markets & Food; Stephen Norton, Executive Director, N.H. Center for Public Policy Studies; Kathy Bogle Shields, Chair, N.H. Preservation Alliance; Jennifer Czysz, AICP, Principal Planner, Nashua Regional Planning Commission and Program Manager, A Granite State Future and other leaders in community development, sustainable design and historic site management. 


WHAT:  gathering of over 150 preservation advocates, community planners, architects, and leaders of heritage and historic district commissions, as well as staff and volunteers who work in museums, historic sites and historical societies. The day-long conference will offer workshops, lectures, and a plenary session featuring expert speakers and first-hand examples of how external changes are affecting the traditional ways of saving and re-using historic structures. Walking tours featuring projects and issues in downtown Concord.


WHEN:  Friday, April 17, 2015, 9:30-4:30 p.m. Reception 4:30-6:30 p.m.


WHERE:  Concord City Auditorium, 2 Prince Street, Concord and other locations 


CONTACT: www.nhpreservation.org and 603-224-2281


Conference topics include protecting historic and scenic landscapes, managing the construction aspects of a preservation project from start to finish, and using new media to tell effective preservation stories. A session geared toward staff and volunteers at museums, historic sites and historical societies will focus on new models including easements, “rescue” leases, and innovative partnerships.  Funding for preservation will also be covered.


The Preservation Alliance chose Concord as the location of the conference to highlight the many historic buildings and rich heritage of the capital city in its bicentennial year. Mid-day walking tours will introduce participants to different themes and locations, showcasing examples of non-profit or faith-based rehabilitation efforts, new compatible infill projects, tax-advantaged preservation projects, and commercial rehabilitations where ADA and building code compliance challenges were successfully met.


“We hope that this year’s conference will give attendees lots of new ideas and inspiration to continue to important work they’re doing across the state, work that helps assure that our historic buildings and distinctive community character are recognized and managed effectively.  With that approach, we can work together in building a strong future for our state’s heritage,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance.


“The good news is that more people are asking ‘is it possible to save this building?’ than they were a generation ago,” said Steve Bedard, preservation contractor. He wants people to know that, with creativity, there are ways to marry preservation with twenty-first century comfort and convenience. 


Historic preservation activity has many benefits, according to the Preservation Alliance. Its labor-intensive nature supports high-paying jobs and contributes more to local economies than new construction.  In the tourism sector, visitors seeking heritage-based experiences stay longer and spend more than others.  Civic leaders emphasize that our cultural and historic assets help attract and retain businesses, stabilize the tax base, and help build social capital. And preservation activity is “the original green,” preventing demolitions that would otherwise burden our landfills and reducing our consumption of natural resources as well as synthetic building materials.


Generous conference sponsors include Bedard Preservation and Restoration, Ian Blackman Restoration and PreservationMerrimack County Savings Bank, N.H. Historical SocietyRevision EnergyFifield Building Relocation and RestorationElizabeth Durfee Hengen Preservation ConsultantMilestone Engineering & Construction,  N.H. Community Development Finance Authority,  Samyn-D’Elia Architects,  BCM Environmental & Land Law,  and Warrenstreet Architects. 


Organizational Sponsors include AIA New HampshireIntown ConcordHistoric New England, Jordan Institute and Resilient Buildings Group, National Trust for Historic PreservationNew Hampshire Community Development Finance AuthorityNew 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 Association, New Hampshire Vibrant Communities, Plan New HampshirePlymouth State University College of Graduate Studies, and University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension


The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places which strengthens communities and local economies.  For more information about this release, please contact Jennifer Goodman, N.H. Preservation Alliance, (603-224-2281 or [email protected].


For registration and more information, go to www.nhpreservation.org.