LANCASTER, NH – With grand proportions and an Italianate exterior, the Parker J. Noyes building at the corner of Main and Bunker Hill Street has anchored the northern gateway to downtown Lancaster since 1846. The building, at one point the largest manufacturing facility of pharmaceutical products in the country, recently earned a place on the New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places.
Parker J. Noyes Redevelopment, a project of the Northern Forest Center, purchased the building in October. The Historic Places designation is the result of a successful collaboration between the Center, New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and the Town of Lancaster. The Center is a Concord-based regional innovation and investment partner creating vibrant communities by connecting people and the economy to the forested landscape.
“Lancaster is fortunate to have such a rich history, and such a lovely and important Main Street to help define and display it,” said Peter Powell, a Lancaster Realtor who has had long involvement with the property. “If not for the efforts of the Northern Forest Center, and the commitment of [Lancaster businessman] Greg Cloutier and others, this building might be melting into the ground for lack of sufficient resources to rescue it.”
Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, led the effort to qualify the Parker J. Noyes building for historic designation. “The NH Preservation Alliance is so pleased to see the listing of this landmark property on the State Register of Historic as official recognition for its important history, but also as a great step forward in the Northern Forest Center’s revitalization plans for this significant anchor property,” said Goodman. The Alliance listed the important yet dilapidated building in its 2017Seven to Savelist of endangered properties.
“The commitment to restore, preserve and repurpose this historic building assures it will again add to the beauty and character of our Main Street,” added Powell. “It will excite us with its uplifting presence, and invigorate our entire community with vibrant new retail and residential space, while today’s successor to the pharmaceutical company, Trividia Health, continues to add jobs and opportunity on Bridge Street. The tide is rising, and this old ship will again be part of our future as well as our past,” he said.
Once renovated, the first floor of the Parker J. Noyes building willbecome the new home of the Root Seller Marketplace, which provides year-round access to fresh, local food, and the headquarters of NH Gleans - North Country, both of which are programs of Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center. The upper floors will provide modern apartments for people who want to enjoy downtown living.
“The Noyes building is an important piece of Lancaster’s history and the landscape of our vibrant downtown,” said Benjamin Gaetjens-Oleson, Lancaster’s planning and zoning coordinator. “Its redevelopment will help ensure our Main Street remains a community asset.”
The Center is working with Alba Architects, a North Country architectural firm with experience in renovating buildings on the Historic Register. The reconstruction will reuse as much interior material as possible. For example, trim removed from one room might be added to another.
“The Noyes building is a direct link to the past, present, and future of Lancaster’s downtown community, and this designation brings an important piece of Lancaster’s history back into the public spotlight,” said Center President Rob Riley, “We are grateful to the Preservation Alliance and many others who came together to help get this special building on the Register of Historic Places.” To learn more about this project please visit: https://northernforest.org/programs/community-vitality/parker-j-noyes.
The New Hampshire State Register of Historic Places is an honorary listing that encourages the protection of significant buildings, districts, sites, landscapes, structures or objects that are meaningful in the history, architecture, archeology, engineering, or traditions of New Hampshire residents and communities. People can nominate historic sites for the register through the N.H. Division of Historical Resources. The State Historical Resources Council, composed of professionals in the fields of American history, architectural history, architecture, archeology and other disciplines, meets quarterly and approves all nominations.
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