Preservation Alliance Awards Grants to Thirteen Community Landmark Projects in NH
In Partnership with The 1772 Foundation
CONCORD, NH – The N.H. Preservation Alliance, partnering for a second year with The 1772 Foundation, awarded historic preservation one-for-one matching grants totaling $100,000 to thirteen private nonprofit organizations in New Hampshire. The grants ranged in amount from $2,000 to the grant maximum of $10,000, with four organizations receiving the latter amount. Grants were provided for exterior work: painting; surface restoration; fire/security systems; repairs to/restoration of chimneys, porches, roofs, and windows; repairs to foundations and sills; and masonry repointing. Projects were vetted by a selection committee of experts and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance staff. Each grantee was required to have matching funds for its project.
Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance, said “We are so pleased to be able to make these grants to worthy projects in many regions of the state.” “This year, The 1772 Foundation’s investment in New Hampshire is protecting and revitalizing thirteen historic community landmarks, inspiring new donors and bringing new activity to under-utilized buildings, villages and downtowns,” she stated.
Goodman noted that grant criteria included the uniqueness or significance of the resource, visibility within the community, availability of additional funding, strength of local support, imminence or severity of threat to the resource, understanding of buildings’ needs, potential for creating beneficial economic and community activity, and the proposed plan’s adherence to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.
President of The 1772 Foundation Margaret Waldock commented on the importance of these grants to the preservation community. “With these grants, The 1772 Foundation continues its investment in preservation efforts that protect assets of community importance. While the individual grants may seem small, we have found they leverage considerable local resources and opportunities – community-provided matching dollars, support for local businesses and tradespeople, and the long-term power of incremental, small-scale capital investments in roofs, windows, and structural improvements that protect and maintain the value of assets over time.”
Grant recipients were Berlin and Coos County Historical Society (Berlin), The Colonial Theatre (Bethlehem), Currier Museum of Art (Manchester), Enfield Shaker Museum (Enfield), Historic Harrisville (Harrisville), North Wilmot Union Meeting House (North Wilmot), Northern Forest Center (Lancaster), Portsmouth Historical Society (Portsmouth), Portsmouth Women’s City Club (Portsmouth), Society for the Preservation of the Old Webster Meeting House (Webster), Southeast Land Trust (Epping), Sutton Historical Society (Sutton), and Willing Workers Society (Warren/Glencliff). Grants also were awarded in each of the other five New England states.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places.
For more information, visit www.nhpreservation.org.
The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, NJ, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of The 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmland to future generations. More information about The 1772 Foundation may be found at www.1772foundation.org.
Detailed descriptions of the grant recipients in NH are listed below, in alphabetical order by town.
Berlin, $8,750 to Berlin & Coos County Historical Society for Maynesboro Stud Barn (c. 1900). For the final phase of the historical society’s long-term restoration of this massive horse barn, this grant will support repair/replacement of damaged siding, exterior painting, and window restoration. It will help to match a $50,000 Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) grant made last fall. The barn was built and used by the owner of the Brown (Paper) Company and was associated with Berlin’s storied logging history. Today it is used as a museum to highlight local history including the W.R. Brown Arabian horse bloodline known as the Maynesboro Stud, which links to 16% of all Arabian horses in the United States today. From Renney Morneau, president, Berlin & Coos County Historical Society: “This grant will allow the Berlin & Coos County Historical Society to complete in earnest the restoration of the Maynesboro Stud Barn, which has always been an integral part of our community’s history and landscape.“
Bethlehem, $2,000 to The Colonial Theater for the The Colonial Theatre (c. 1920). This 100-year-old theater in one of the oldest resort towns of the White Mountains provides live entertainment and film screenings, and is a valuable amenity for the tourism industry and the year-round community. Funds will go toward repair and painting of the rear and east sides of the building, making the exterior weather-tight and presenting a well-maintained appearance. The Friends of the Colonial, whose mission includes historic preservation, have raised and spent over $1.5M for theater renovations and upgrades since 2001. From Christine Kelley, executive director, The Colonial Theater: “As stewards of an historic building that is a significant contributor to the sense of pride of place of our community, and an important architectural link to both the era of the grand hotels and the history of the motion picture industry, we take seriously our responsibility to maintain and improve The Colonial Theatre. We are so thankful for the support of the NH Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation, which helps The Colonial maintain the thoughtful up-keep of our historic building.”
Enfield, $10,000 to Enfield Shaker Museum for the Stone Mill (1849). Guided by a 2019 comprehensive window assessment, restoration of the 1849 Stone Mill’s 53 windows is being done in phases. Phase I is complete. Phase II, supported by this grant, will restore nine windows on the third floor. Most window frames need significant sill repairs, replacement of rotted or missing muntins, and lead paint abatement. Some need to be totally replaced. One of only three Shaker-built stone structures in the state, this mill hosts educational programs and generates significant rental income for the museum. From Shirley Wajda, Executive Director,
Enfield Shaker Museum: “Once the center of a large complex of agricultural and industrial buildings within the historic Enfield Shaker Village (1793-1823), Enfield Shaker Museum’s Stone Mill, a three-story field stone structure erected in 1849, was powered by a nearby stream and mill pond. This building, showing in its exterior stonework the many hands of the masons who made it, is one of only three remaining Shaker-built stone structures in New Hampshire.”
Epping, $5,000 to the Southeast Land Trust for the John Prescott Chase Farmhouse (1780). Southeast Land Trust (SELT) is fully rehabilitating the John Prescott Chase Farmhouse into two units of energy-efficient workforce housing. One will be rented to a farmer for the surrounding agricultural lands that SELT has also protected. This grant will support the full restoration, lead paint abatement, and reinstallation of the house’s 24 historic windows. Matching funds come from a 2020 LCHIP grant. SELT anticipates an estimated $780,000 to fully rehabilitate the house, vacant since 2015. A later phase will repair or replace lost or damaged original features including the front door configuration. From Brian Hart, executive director, Southeast Land Trust: “The John Prescott Chase Farmhouse is symbolic of the agricultural history and future of Epping. Through its rehabilitation into two units of affordable housing, it will connect us to Epping’s farming history while also providing housing for a new farmer at Burley Farms.”
Harrisville, $10,000 to Historic Harrisville for St. Denis Church (c. 1894). After substantial planning, Historic Harrisville is ready to rehabilitate this former Roman Catholic church as a community and cultural center by for the benefit of the town’s citizens. Grant funds will be used for complete restoration of four of the twenty stained-glass windows. Matching funds were raised in a 10-day campaign that netted 20% more than the goal. Completion is slated in time for HHI’s 50th Anniversary celebration, tentatively scheduled for August 21, 2021. Phase II will complete the remaining windows. From Erin Hammerstedt, executive director, Historic Harrisville, Inc.: “St. Denis Catholic Church was built in 1894 near the general store and boarding house on land donated by the Cheshire Mills Company to accommodate the increasingly diverse ethnic population of the bustling mill town, specifically its Irish and French-Canadian mill-workers. It is the only building in the National Historic Landmark district with decorative architectural features of its era, including the pointed arch stained glass windows sponsored by families that belonged to the church. Historic Harrisville truly appreciates the financial support of the NH Preservation Alliance and 1772 Foundation, which spurred tremendous grassroots support from current and former members of the community to match the grant for this popular project to restore the stained glass windows.”
Lancaster, $5,000 to The Northern Forest Center for the Parker J. Noyes Building (1865). The $2.5 million rehabilitation of the Parker J. Noyes Building will transform a neglected Main Street landmark into an energy-efficient building housing apartments and a first-floor food coop. This grant will support the cost of a required fire alarm system and help close a $100,000 funding gap. The Center purchased the Seven-to-Save-listed property in 2018, spent 18 months on design and planning, and expects to complete renovation in 2021. Parker J. Noyes was a leader in the early pharmaceutical history of New Hampshire. This project is a critical component of the economic revitalization of its North Country town. From Kelly Short, communications director, Northern Forest Center: “We greatly appreciate support from the 1772 Foundation and the NH Preservation Alliance to advance the redevelopment of the historic Parker J. Noyes building. This property, which was listed on the Seven to Save list, will soon be realizing its potential, providing high quality and energy efficiency housing and commercial space in downtown Lancaster.”
Manchester, $8,750 to the Currier Museum of Art for the George Byron Chandler House (1863/1888). Chimney and masonry wall repairs are emergency needs to prevent further deterioration or collapse in the long process to rehabilitate this important historic house in the Currier neighborhood, recently acquired from the Roman Catholic Diocese after a protracted community effort to prevent its demolition. Funding will support reconstruction of the top sections of the east and south chimneys, and the north-facing masonry wall. When complete, the Chandler House will be another “jewel” in the museum’s collection of historic architectural treasures. The formal ornate first floor will serve as public exhibition space and the upper floors will house administrative offices. From Alan Chong, director, Currier Museum of Art: “The 1772 Foundation will support essential work on the Chandler House in Manchester. The reconstruction of the chimney and masonry wall are high priorities, and will launch the full restoration of a beautiful historic property next to the Currier Museum of Art.”
North Wilmot, $9,000 to the North Wilmot Union Meeting House for the North Wilmot Church (1829). Grant funds will support the completion of necessary structural work, an early step in addressing the 1829 building’s overall preservation needs. A rotten front sill will be replaced and carrying beams underneath the church will receive new supports. Later phases will address windows and siding. This much-loved community landmark has no heat, electricity or plumbing. It is owned and managed by an all-volunteer non-profit that offers seasonal non-denominational services, education and social programs, and makes the church available for both public and private community functions. From Ann Davis, president, NWUMHS: “The historic 1829 North Wilmot Church is an excellent example of rural New England religious architecture. Ensuring the church’s future requires once-in-a-century structural work – replacing a rotted sill. The grant from the NH Preservation Alliance and The 1772 Foundation will allow the North Wilmot Union Meeting House Society (NWUMHS) to undertake this work.”
Portsmouth, $7,000 to Portsmouth Women’s City Club for 375 Middle Street (1913). Since 1923, the Portsmouth Women’s City Club has owned and carefully stewarded this handsome Colonial Revival home in the Portsmouth National Register Historic District. This grant will help support much-needed painting of the cedar shake siding and exterior trim. The all-volunteer Women’s Club provides housing to nine single, working women, funds three annual scholarships for high school students, and offers a variety of services to support the local community. From Cathy Hodson, Portsmouth City Women’s Club: “Painting the exterior of the Portsmouth Women’s City Club is essential, as our beautiful, but peeling, building sits prominently on Middle Street, the most gracious entrance to Portsmouth’s Downtown Historic District.”
Portsmouth, $7,000 to Portsmouth Historical Society for the John Paul Jones House (1758)
This grant will address the remaining items of a long-term project to meet deferred maintenance needs of this 1758 National Register building. It will fund painting of the ell and carriage house and restoration of the final eight windows in the ell. Two previous LCHIP grants have helped fund new roofs on the main house and the carriage house, drainage improvements, other exterior painting, and repair of masonry, wood sheathing, siding and trim. This project completes all exterior maintenance needs, and strict adherence to the new cyclical maintenance plan should maintain the house’s condition. From Judith Loto, director of development, Portsmouth Historical Society: “This maintenance project aligns with the Portsmouth Historical Society’s mission to preserve and promote the John Paul Jones House and its many stories. As a prominent protected historic property in Portsmouth’s ever-changing downtown, the window repair and exterior painting not only secure the envelope of the building but will vastly improve its visual appearance.”
Sutton, $10,000 to Sutton Historical Society for South Sutton Meetinghouse (1839). This grant will help support the full restoration of the eight twenty-five-over-twenty historic windows, and the twelve-over-eight window with sidelights above the meetinghouse’s entrance. Window restoration was identified as a top priority in a 2019 historic building condition assessment funded by the NH Preservation Alliance. This well-preserved example of an early 19th century meetinghouse stands virtually unchanged since its completion in 1839. The National Register listed building has been owned by the historical society since 1995 and is well-used for traditional town events and other community programs. From Dorothy Jeffrey, clerk, Sutton Historical Society: “The South Sutton Meetinghouse is a treasured landmark that is a quintessential representation of the rich history of Sutton. As stewards of this historical building, we are honored to receive support for our efforts to maintain the integrity and intactness of this historic structure.”
Warren (Glencliff), $10,000 to the Willing Workers Society for the Willing Workers Hall (1915). Located in a tiny village in the White Mountains, this early 20th-century social hall was a place for the community to gather and support each other through hard times. Volunteers are spearheading an effort to revive it for community events after decades of disuse and deferred maintenance. It was recently listed to the NH State Register and was named a Seven to Save in 2019. A condition assessment report completed last year will guide rehabilitation. This grant will help fund initial steps including a new roof, trim repair and exterior painting. From Deborah Dickman, Willing Workers Society: “The Willing Workers Society is currently involved in sponsoring a Red Cross blood drive, reforesting of the Town of Warren forest by creating a memorial tree section, providing food to seniors during the pandemic as well as other community related events. We are grateful to the NH Preservation Alliance for believing and supporting our Hall restoration project from inception and the 1772 Foundation for providing the funding by granting our request of $10,000 so that we may continue and increase our thumbprint in our community and surrounding areas.”
Webster, $7,500 to Society for the Preservation of the Old Webster Meeting House (DBA Webster Historical Society) for Old Webster Meeting House (1791). After an extensive study to determine the cause of high moisture levels in the exterior cladding of the building, a two-year remediation project has been completed that included the installation of a moisture barrier in the crawlspace, re-grading around the perimeter of the foundation, roof repair and addition of rain diverters. Now, with moisture levels under control, this grant will support the much-needed clapboard repair and exterior painting of the meetinghouse. From Barbara Corliss, treasurer, Webster Historical Society: “The Webster Historical Society is grateful for the assistance of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance and the 1772 Foundation for their help in preserving the Webster Meeting House. This old house is a last of its kind in the upper Merrimack Valley region, and stands testament to many local and regional historical events throughout its 230-year history.”