Nine rescue, rehabilitation, and revitalization projects and two outstanding leaders of the preservation movement were honored in the NH Preservation Alliance’s annual awards in early May. The 2022 slate includes the preservation of rare and iconic properties, stewardship of community assets and gathering places, and community development successes.
Award winners include:
- The Belknap Economic Development Commission and City of Laconia for the outstanding revitalization and rehabilitation of the Colonial Theatre Block. The $14.4 million redevelopment project revived a community performing space, four commercial storefronts, and new apartments in the heart of downtown Laconia.
- The Town of Bradford for restoring and rehabilitating the Bement Covered Bridge. This award recognizes the commitment of the small town of Bradford, population 1,650, to save a rare resource, develop a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, and implement creative engineering solutions to meet 21st century needs.
- The Concord Coalition to End Homelessness for rehabilitating 10 Green Street for apartments to house people exiting homelessness. Enhancing the character and features of a notable property not only adds significant value to the community but to the lives of some of its most vulnerable residents, said reviewers.
- The Woman’s Club of Concord for rehabilitation and stewardship of the Chamberlin House. This award recognizes the work of a small, highly committed Board of Directors who revived the Queen Anne style home that serves as their headquarters and provides housing.
- The Lower Gilmanton Community Club and Gilmanton School for rehabilitating the Kelly Corner School in a five-year, volunteer-led effort to save and repurpose Gilmanton's last remaining publicly owned one-room schoolhouse.
- The Northern Forest Center for revitalizing and rehabilitating the Parker J. Noyes Block, Lancaster. The $3.2 million rehabilitation of this 11,000 square foot building into six market rate apartments and first floor retail use is an outstanding example of redevelopment in a rural community. This project has attracted statewide acclaim and has already inspired three other Main Street projects.
- The Mill Hollow Heritage Association for revitalizing and rehabilitating Chase’s Mill in Alstead. This impressive venture has brought an endangered historic mill building back to life and linked its heritage with future educational and community development ventures in a model that the Preservation Alliance hopes others might emulate. Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Award for Outstanding Preservation Planning, Education and Advocacy
- The Town of Newport for the Newport Opera and Courthouse Restoration. Comprehensive work included a new roof, masonry repairs, restored clock tower, clock, and stained-glass windows as well as a new opera house floor with sound attenuation because the stage sits directly above the judge’s bench.
- The Pulaski Monument Committee and City of Manchester for restoring the Casimir Pulaski Monument. This award recognizes the high-quality preservation efforts and stewardship of the monument to Brigadier General Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman and heroic cavalry officer who volunteered to serve in the American Revolution and became known as “the Father of the American Cavalry.”
Two outstanding preservation leaders with extensive influence also were recognized:
- John Schnitzler, for his knowledge, skilled craftsmanship and preservation impact on Seacoast historic buildings including those at Strawbery Banke, other museum-quality landmarks, and private residences, and for his role as a teacher of preservation forensics and techniques.
- Rick Geddes, for his skills, generosity and breadth of experience in moving historic buildings, including the Epsom Meeting House and the 200-ton Gale School in Belmont. This award honors his career-long record of accomplishment as well as his can-do attitude, problem-solving skills, and generous commitment to community-based preservation efforts.
“It is wonderful for us to have the opportunity to honor people who are making a difference in communities across the state,” said Nicholas Mitchell, chairman of the Preservation Alliance board of directors. “These are the kinds of places we can’t imagine New Hampshire without: said Jennifer Goodman, executive director, N.H. Preservation Alliance, “and we hope these awards help inspired more preservation activity.” She noted community and economic impacts of the projects, and the importance of a range of support including grants from the N.H. Community Development Finance Authority, N.H. Housing, and the N.H. Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), contributions from municipalities, and private investors, private philanthropy, and significant partnerships.
Preservation Achievement Award sponsors include Ian Blackman, LLC, Restoration and Preservation; Bedard Preservation & Restoration, LLC; Hutter Construction; Meridian Construction; The Rowley Agency, Inc.; and Sheehan Phinney. Also Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc.; Matuszewski & Associates, LLC; North Branch Construction; Brady Sullivan Properties; Bruss Project Management, LLC; Mountain View Grand Resort; and The Duprey Companies.
The NH Preservation Alliance supports and encourages the revitalization and protection of historic buildings and places which strengthens communities and local economies. Information on new virtual assessments and virtual gatherings on varied preservation topics, planning grants and more available at www.nhpreservation.org.