52 Barns in 52 Weeks!

Citing a growing rate of barn demolition and collapse, the N.H. Preservation Alliance announced today (November 29, Giving Tuesday) a campaign to help preserve at least 52 barns across the state in 2017 with planning grants, education and promotion of a local tax relief program for barns. The statewide non-profit is seeking financial support to help meet their goal.

Barns tell the history of New Hampshire: from hardscrabble beginnings to the sheep and dairy booms in the 19th century. Virtually every rural homestead and village property included a barn.  As you travel through New Hampshire today, it’s impossible not to see that this legacy of hard work and community is crumbling around us with missed opportunities for investment and stewardship. 

“We’re losing historic New Hampshire barns at a rate of nearly one per day,” said Beverly Thomas, program director at the Preservation Alliance.  “The Preservation Alliance has seen increases in public awareness of the significance of barns and the benefits of preservation over the last decade, but we want to do more in the coming year because of the crisis in the dairy industry and what experts see as a big bubble of need because of deferred maintenance of 19th century barns,” she said.

The Preservation Alliance will expand three proven programs to meet the goal: assessment grants that help owners prioritize and complete barn repair work, educational programs for barn owners and enthusiasts, and expanding use of a state barn easement program that can offer tax relief to property owners who preserve their historic agricultural structures.  Barns are part of the landscapes and communities that attract businesses and visitors according to project leaders.

To make a donation, go here. You can also email barns@nhpreservation.org to receive information and updates about the program. 

Significant New England Landmark Protected

Stratham town leaders, LCHIP board and staff, legislators, Alliance board and staff members, new owners and others gathered to celebrate the protection of the Lane Homestead on October 20. New owner Greg Pruitt noted that Jabez Lane recorded October 20, 1807 as day he moved into the home that still stands on the property. Photo: Wallace Stuart, Stratham Heritage Commission.

Stratham town leaders, LCHIP board and staff, legislators, Alliance board and staff members, new owners and others gathered to celebrate the protection of the Lane Homestead on October 20. New owner Greg Pruitt noted that Jabez Lane recorded October 20, 1807 as day he moved into the home that still stands on the property. Photo: Wallace Stuart, Stratham Heritage Commission.

Sale of Lane Homestead with Historic Preservation Easement Supported by Town of Stratham, N.H. 

The historic Lane Homestead, located at the intersection of Routes 108 and 33 in Stratham, has been protected for future generations announced the Town of Stratham, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) today.

When the property was listed for sale last year Stratham officials and residents, as well as preservationists and historians in New Hampshire and beyond, were concerned that historic structures would be demolished or this highly significant property would be developed in a way that was insensitive to the historical importance of the Lane Homestead. 

Between 1741 and 1810, Samuel Lane and his son, Jabez, kept comprehensive diaries and records of their life on the homestead, which are now held at the New Hampshire Historical Society as part of an extensive collection of artifacts and archives relating to the Lane Family. The historic preservation easement protects the 5-acre parcel including the Jabez Lane House (1807), Samuel Lane’s shoemaker’s shop (1742), the Corn House (1769), and the mid-nineteenth century barn. This intact collection of buildings illustrates the intermingling of home life, productive trades, and farming that typified life in early New England.

The Lane Homestead was listed listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983; however, before the easement its structures weren’t protected from demolition or major alterations.

The historic preservation easement was developed over months of collaboration among the former owner, the present owner, the Town, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, and LCHIP. The effort benefited from the recognition and support of listing the Lane Homestead as one the Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save and from receiving a substantial grant from LCHIP.

"The community solidly supported this project," said Rebecca Mitchell, chair of the Stratham Heritage Commission. “It was a huge advantage to go to Town Meeting last March with the Preservation Alliance’s Seven to Save designation and the LCHIP grant in hand. The voters resoundingly supported appropriating the funds to protect this landmark in our midst.”

Dave Canada, Chairman of the Stratham Board of Selectmen, said that the Board “is gratified that the Town has supported ensuring that the Lane Homestead remains in perpetuity as a symbol of Stratham’s proud past – especially significant this year when we celebrate our 300th Anniversary.”  Canada added that “when a development proposal threatened the very existence of the buildings much angst was heard from our citizens. Our solution was to work with our Heritage Commission and the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance to ensure that these buildings were never threatened again. We could not have accomplished this without the commitment of the people of Stratham.”

"We are extremely pleased to assist the Town with the protection of one of its most iconic places," said Jennifer Goodman, the Preservation Alliance’s executive director. She noted that the Preservation Alliance is pleased with the growing interest in this useful tool.

The Lane Homestead is important to the history not only of Stratham but also of the Seacoast region and, in fact, the entire state, according to William Dunlap, president of the N.H. Historical Society. “The diaries, daybooks, land surveys, and artifacts left by Samuel Lane are unmatched within New Hampshire and we treasure them as part of the collections of the New Hampshire Historical Society. The preservation and protection of the Lane Homestead should give the citizens of Stratham a great sense of pride and accomplishment,” he said.

The Town of Stratham is a municipality located in New Hampshire's rapidly developing seacoast region. The town has been a leader in land conservation, but this is its first experience with a historic preservation easement.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, a statewide, nonprofit historic preservation organization, strengthens communities and stimulates local economies by encouraging the protection and revival of historic buildings and places.

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) is an independent state authority that makes matching grants to NH communities and non-profits to conserve and preserve New Hampshire's most important natural, cultural and historic resources.

Landmark House north of Hanover, NH for Sale

Act now! You can be an owner of the c.1817 Rogers House in Orford, just north of Hanover, NH.  This beautiful historic property is one of the seven houses that comprise the Orford Ridge -- aligned in a row and set back above the street across sweeping lawns on an ancient bank of the Connecticut River, and which have been described by architectural authorities as the finest group of Federal-style houses in the United States.

The house has 9 bedrooms, 7 baths and ample space to gather and a 2 bedroom apartment above the detached 3 car garage on 3 acres. The home has been vacant and needs old house maintenance and investments. The Town of Orford is the seller, and offers will be reviewed on October 19. The Preservation Alliance has worked with the Town on a  preservation easement for the property, which is situated in a National Register Historic District.  Listing here.    The Preservation Alliance provides marketing assistance to Seven to Save and easement properties.  

The house has 9 bedrooms, 7 baths and ample space to gather and a 2 bedroom apartment above the detached 3 car garage on 3 acres. The home has been vacant and needs old house maintenance and investments. The Town of Orford is the seller, and offers will be reviewed on October 19. The Preservation Alliance has worked with the Town on a  preservation easement for the property, which is situated in a National Register Historic District.  Listing here

 

The Preservation Alliance provides marketing assistance to Seven to Save and easement properties.

 

2016 Seven To Save

The Oceanic Hotel on Star Island, Seven to Save, 2015.

Are you concerned about the future of an important historic building in your community?  Is there an irreplaceable historic structure in the state that you’d like to help save?   The Seven to Save list is a powerful means to attract attention to those threats and help forge possible solutions for such endangered properties.  

Criteria for Seven to Save include the property’s historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the Seven to Save listing would help in preserving or protecting the property.  Typically, nominated properties are owned by non-profits, municipalities or commercial entities, and have local advocates willing to work toward a creative “save” rather than allowing continued deterioration and possible demolition.  The 2016 list will be announced on October 25th in Manchester.

Seven to Save listing has helped to attract new investment and re-use options for over 50% of the community landmarks that have received the designation since the program began in 2006.  Examples include several projects that picked up Statewide Preservation Awards in May:  Watson Academy in Epping, the Langdon Meetinghouse, and Brewster Memorial Hall in Wolfeboro.  Seven to Save sites that still need more creative planning, new investment, and the hard work of local advocates include Concord’s iconic Gas Holder House, the Chandler House in Manchester, Sanborn Seminary in Kingston, and the former Brown Paper Company’s R & D building in Berlin.  

 Anyone can submit a nomination for the Seven to Save list.  Previous nominations have come from concerned citizens, neighborhood advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or commissions. 

Seven to Save ‘s sponsors for 2016 include: The Anagnost Companies; Ian Blackman, LLC Restoration and Preservation; JLT Painting; Christopher P. Williams Architects, PLLC; Samyn-D’Elia Architects, PA; Milestone Engineering & Construction; Cobb Hill Construction; ReArch; Windows & Doors by Brownell; Ciborowski Associates; Enviro-Tote, Inc.; North Branch Construction; Norton Asset Management; Finegold Alexander Architects; Udelsman Associates; and the Turnstone Corporation. Sponsorship opportunities for 2016 are still available.  

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance is the statewide membership organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings, communities and landscapes through education, resources and advocacy.  

Additional information on past listees here.