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New LCHIP Grants to Help Save Special Places and Catalyze Community Development

With a new grant from the Land & Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), the N.H. Preservation Alliance has funding to continue its program of historic building assessment grants through 2021.   

51MydAGmB7L._AC_The LCHIP Board of Directors announced the grant award at its 2021 matching grants call via Zoom on November 19.  It was one of 21 new LCHIP grants to historic preservation projects, including three properties listed on the Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save.  Nearly all of the grant recipients have been helped by the Alliance’s services including funds for building assessments. “The Preservation Alliance is proud to have been part of the project development process for many of the new LCHIP grant recipients, and extends an invitation to new projects that are seeking funding and guidance for getting started and moving forward,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the N.H. Preservation Alliance. 

According to LCHIP staff, this year there were more preservation projects than usual for North Country communities (Pittsburg, Stratford and Berlin). They also noted the number of very small towns (Pittsburg, Stratford, Wentworth, Warren, Effingham, and Grafton) that received grants to tackle important projects, and that several projects are directly or indirectly associated with addressing housing needs.  Four nonprofits will use their LCHIP grant monies for studies of landmark historic resources: Lakes Region Community Developers (Gale School, Belmont), Canterbury Shaker Village, Portsmouth’s North Church, and the Town of Tilton (Tilton Island Bridge).

“In these uncertain times, this news is a great boost for communities across the state,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. “LCHIP grants are matching investments that revive historic landmarks, help protect our sense of community and drive new economic activity.”

Historic preservation activity supports jobs, enhances the tax base and helps spur additional investment. Because of the labor intensive nature of rehabilitation, more money circulates in local economies than it does with new construction. An American Express survey of millennials emphasized the generation’s interest in living and working in places that feature a mix of old and new architecture and community gathering places. In addition, studies show that heritage visitors stay longer and spend more than other types of visitors.

The Alliance will use its $60,000 award to make up to 15 grants to non-profits and municipalities for historic building assessments. Building assessments are useful tools for groups starting their preservation project or advancing to a new phase. The process brings preservation professionals, architects and engineers together to inspect and document a structure’s construction, evolution, and condition, and make recommendations for repair and reuse, along with cost estimates.  The Alliance’s building assessment program has helped property owners and advocates create “road maps” for nearly 80 community landmarks in over 60 towns and cities to date.

The three recipients this year that were listed to Seven to Save are the Gale School in Belmont, Tilton Island Bridge, and the Willing Workers Hall in Warren. On the natural resource side, family farms (Seven to Save, 2014) in Northumberland and Warner will be conserved thanks to LCHIP funding that for easements secured by land conservation groups.

All of the properties that utilized Seven to Save and planning grant aid also received technical assistance and coaching from the Alliance. That list includes: The Tilton School’s Tilton Mansion, Southeast Land Trust’s John Prescott Chase Farmhouse in Epping, South Church in Portsmouth, and Kimball House and Mill in Grafton.

LCHIP’s $4.1 million in matching historic preservation and land conservation grants was awarded to 32 projects across the state. LCHIP funds will support projects in nine of the state’s ten counties. This grant round was highly competitive, with nearly $8 million in funding requests compared to $4.1 million available for grants. LCHIP Board of Directors Chair and former Preservation Alliance board member Amanda Merrill of Durham observed that “With the large number and high quality of applications that where submitted this year, the board had the satisfaction of awarding grants to a variety of wonderful projects-- and the regret of being unable to support many others. It is clear to me that the work of LCHIP is more important than ever.”

Grant recipients are required to raise a minimum of one dollar for each dollar provided by LCHIP.  This year’s awards of $4.1 million will be matched by nearly $18 million that the project proponents will raise from other public and private sources, infusing a total of over $22 million into the state’s economy in direct project activity.  

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places. The organization worked with legislators, business leaders and conservation colleagues to create the LCHIP program, and continues to advocate for sustaining LCHIP’s effective investments.

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority created by the legislature in 2000. LCHIP’s legislative mandate is to ensure the perpetual contribution of natural, cultural and historic resources to the economy, environment, and quality of life in New Hampshire. LCHIP does this by providing matching grants to New Hampshire communities and non-profits to conserve and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural and historic resources. The program has provided 499 grants which have helped to conserve approximately 294,000 acres of land for food production, water quality, ecological values, timber management and recreation and supported 301 projects to rehabilitate 286 historic structures and sites. Grants have been awarded in all parts of the state and in 176 of New Hampshire’s 234 communities. Fifty million dollars of state money have led to a total project value of more than $289 million. The money for LCHIP grants comes from fees on four documents recorded at the Registry of Deeds in every county of the state. 

The N.H. Preservation Alliance’s building assessment program has helped property owners and advocates of nearly 80 community landmarks in over 60 towns and cities to date.

Acworth

Methodist Church/Grange Hall

Alexandria

Town Hall

Amherst

Congregational Church of Amherst

Andover

Grange Hall

Antrim

Antrim Grange

Bartlett

St. Joseph Catholic Church

Bennington

Bennington Railroad Station

Berlin

Berlin Public Library

Canaan

Canaan Historical Museum/ Canaan Union Academy Building

Candia

Smyth Memorial Building

Center Harbor

Center Harbor Town House

Center Harbor

Center Harbor Village Schoolhouse

Center Harbor

James E. Nichols Memorial Library

Charlestown

Former Connecticut River Bank building

Chester

Chester Congregational Church

Cornish

Cornish Meetinghouse

Dover

First Parish Church

Dunbarton

Town Hall

East Derry

Upper Village Hall

Effingham

Town Hall

Farmington

First Congregational Church

Fitzwilliam

Amos J. Blake House

Franconia

Iron Furnace

Gilmanton

First Baptist Church

Gilmanton

Old Town Hall

Goshen

Goshen Grange Building

Grafton

Grafton Center Meetinghouse

Haverhill

Col. Brown House

Haverhill

Haverhill Library

Hebron

Hebron Academy Building

Henniker

Tucker Free Library

Hooksett

Hooksett Town Hall

Keene

Cheshire County Court House

Keene

Wyman Tavern

Lancaster

Wilder-Holton House

Lancaster

Parker Noyes Building

Lee

Town Hall

Lee

Parish House

Littleton

Littleton Public Library

Mason

Town Hall

Meredith

Meredith Public Library

Middleton

Old Town Hall

Mont Vernon

Mont Vernon Town Hall

Moultonborough

Moultonborough Grange

Moultonborough

French-Taylor House

Moultonborough

Castle in the Clouds

Nashua

First Church

Nelson

Town Hall and Old School House

Newbury

The Fells, Historic Main Porch

Newbury

The Fells Lakeside Cottage

Newmarket

Newmarket Community Church

Newport

Opera House

North Hampton

Centennial Hall

Plymouth

The Old Webster Courthouse

Portsmouth

The Players’ Ring Theater

Portsmouth

Portsmouth Women’s City Club

Rollinsford

Rollinsford Grade School

Rye

St. Andrews by-the-Sea

Somersworth

Furber Memorial Chapel

South Hampton

S. H. Baptist Church

South Sutton

Meeting House & School House

Stoddard

Stoddard Congregational Church

Stratford

Miriam Blogett Museum

Stratford

Stratford Grange Hall

Sullivan

United Congregational Church of Sullivan

Swanzey

Whitcomb Hall

Swanzey

Mt. Caesar Union Library

Swanzey

Golden Rod Grange Hall

Tamworth

Hall-Dyer House

Wakefield

Union Hotel

Warner

Pillsbury Free Library

Weare

Clinton Grove Academy Building

Wentworth

Wentworth Congregational Church

Wentworth

Old Town Hall

Westmoreland

Town Hall

Wilmot

Town Hall & Library

Winchester

Winchester Center Church

Windham

Searles School & Chapel

Windham

Town Hall