LACONIA, N.H.: The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance announced its 2022 Seven to Save list today, highlighting vulnerable historic resources and related threats to community life and economic well-being exacerbated by the pandemic.
This year’s list features an icon of Granite State transportation history, a historic tavern and three irreplaceable landmarks in small towns with populations of about 1,000 people. All the endangered structures need new or revived uses and transformative investment to become viable community assets again.
Preservation Alliance leaders emphasized that New Hampshire’s small towns and historic buildings give our state its distinctive and appealing character and economic vitality. “Our historic buildings define the New Hampshire landscape; host important civic and cultural programming; and keep alive our talented pool of preservation craftspeople. These are the buildings that make our communities desirable and identifiable,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director, N.H. Preservation Alliance.
The 2022 Seven to Save list features these endangered historic structures and resources:
Bean Tavern, Raymond
Raymond purchased this long-vacant c. 1750 landmark last year to save it when it was advertised as “land only” -- and then voted to extend their historic district to include it at the 2022 Town Meeting. Listing will give a boost to the local effort to meet pressing needs like a new roof and plan its stewardship and new use. The tavern is featured on the town seal.
Carroll County Courthouse, Ossipee
This intact and iconic Carroll County landmark needs a new use. The County Commissioners support the listing to help provide some needed energy and visibility to their efforts after the Ossipee Historical Society recently relinquished the 1916 building, back to the County, when the vision of a county-wide historical museum and research center fell through.
This rare survivor, currently stored in Lincoln, needs a new home, a transfer of ownership, and rehabilitation investments before it can once again ride the rails. The Flying Yankee Association, the friends group associated with the DOT-owned resource, is eager for Seven to Save listing to help revive its efforts.
Hill Center Church
The Hill Center Church was built in 1800 with post-Toleration Act changes made in 1847. The non-profit charged with preserving the National Register-listed landmark is anxious to revive their efforts fifty years after the building’s last restoration campaign. In addition to cosmetic work, the church also needs new programming and activity to keep it in the minds of Hill residents.
St. John’s Methodist Church, Jefferson
This highly-visible 1860s landmark, which stands right on Route 2, will soon be vacated by the local historical society and revert back to the Methodist conference. The church will need creative matchmaking for its new use and a fair amount of investment. Its location close to the road, the site’s topography, and the structural concerns are all challenges.
Stone School, Newington
Community leaders, including graduates of the 1920 National Register-listed school, are seeking ways to breathe new life into this recently-condemned landmark that sits in the civic center of the seacoast town, adjacent to the Pease International Airport. Some in town want the property for a new fire station complex.
Preservation Trades Workforce in New Hampshire:
New Hampshire and the nation are facing a shortage of skilled tradespeople. If we don’t address the skills gap and increasing median ages, we’ll limit preservation activity, lose historic resources, and lose valuable knowledge about traditional building methods – an important part of our economy.
The Seven to Save announcement event was held in Laconia where the Preservation Alliance showcased three Seven to Save listees: The successful revival of the Colonial Theatre, still-threatened St. Joseph Church, and the United Baptist Church in Lakeport.
Since 2006, the Preservation Alliance's annual Seven to Save list has helped attract attention and resources to irreplaceable landmarks around the state. More than half are now considered out of danger or saved. Many owners and advocates for the former listees used the designation to help develop new solutions and secure new investments. Many places are in the process of rehabilitation, while others continue to need significant additional help. A few have been lost. Criteria for selection include: historical significance, imminence of threat, and potential impact of listing a site.
Generous program sponsors include:
Anagnost Companies; Bedard Preservation & Restoration LLC; Ian Blackman, LLC; Chinburg Properties; Daniel K. Thorne Foundation; Littleton Millworks, Inc.; Merrimack County Savings Bank; Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc. and Preservation Company.
American Steeple & Tower Co., Inc.; Dennis Mires, P.A., The Architects; Great Bridge Properties; Matuszewski & Associates Architects, LLC; Meredith Village Savings Bank; SMP Architecture and Savings Bank of Walpole. Abatron, a division of U.C Coatings, LLC; Alba Architects, LLP; Altus Engineering, Inc.; Ambit Engineering, Inc.; Arch Weathers Historic SashWorks, LLC; Banwell NH, Inc.; Ciborowski Associates; Cobb Hill Construction; Enviro-Tote, Inc.; Fisher Engineering; Hamblet Electric; Hess Gehris Solutions; Misiaszek Turpin, PLLC; Nobis Engineering, Inc; Peter W. Powell Real Estate; Samyn-D’Elia Architects; Udelsman Associates and Union Bank.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places which strengthens communities and local economies. Information on programs, planning grants and more available at www.nhpreservation.org.