Important Opportunity for Public Comments On Northern Pass Project

Sign up by May 31 to advocate for historic resources in the path of the Northern Pass project. This is a rare opportunity for the public to participate in New Hampshire’s Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) process that can determine whether the project is approved or denied.

Your voice is important. There is a small window of opportunity to provide public comment to the Committee members; the rest of the process is run as an administrative trial and only those with intervenor status can participate.

Weeks Estate, Lancaster

Weeks Estate, Lancaster

The N.H. Preservation Alliance has been working with individuals, local groups, conservation organizations and the National Trust for Historic Preservation over the last several years to advocate for the protection of historic places and large cultural landscapes potentially impacted by the 192-mile high-voltage powerline proposed to be built across New Hampshire from the Canadian border at Pittsburg in the north to Deerfield in the south.  The Preservation Alliance and the National Trust are intervenors in the case as well as active participants in parallel federal processes.

The SEC has reserved the mornings of June 15, June 22, and July 20, 2017, for the public to offer their comments on the project.

1.   Sign up to speak in person. If you can testify in person on June 15, 22, or July 20, sign up to get on the speaker list. Here’s how:

  • By May 31, send an email to Marissa Schuetz, Program Specialist and let her know you would like to make a statement in person. Include your name, email address, town/city, and whether you oppose, support, or have no position on the project. Give your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd date choices to make your statement. If you require special assistance or have any limitations regarding your schedule, include that as well.
  • Check the SEC website before June 15 to find a schedule for speakers.
  • Go to 49 Donovan Street in Concord, New Hampshire, on your scheduled morning and offer your opinion.

2.  Send the SEC written comments if you cannot testify in person.  New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee
Martin Honigberg, Presiding Officer, Site Evaluation Committee
21 South Fruit Street, Suite 10
Concord, NH 03301

Nationally Recognized Orford Landmark to be Revived

Historic view of Rogers House, courtesy Orford Social Library

Historic view of Rogers House, courtesy Orford Social Library

The N.H. Preservation Alliance recognized the Town of Orford and others for their efforts to protect a significant New England landmark on May 19.  This gathering was an important opportunity to welcome the new owners and thank everyone who made this preservation project happen, said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the N.H. Preservation Alliance.

In February, the Town sold the historic c.1817 Rogers House, located on Main Street/Route 10 in Orford, to Elise and Jared Hemingsen. Elise Hemingsen’s grandfather and grandmother, Roberto and Edith Alonso, immigrated from Cuba and settled in Orford in 1960. [Roberto worked for Equity Publishing Company and in 1962 Elise's mother, Vanessa, was born at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Vanessa would marry David DeSimone and move to New Jersey, where Elise was born in 1990. David and Vanessa then returned permanently to Orford in August 2007.  Jared and Elise were married in the Orford Congregational Church in July, 2016].

Presentation of 200-year old office sign of Attorney and Rogers House builder, John Rogers.  Left to right, John Adams, Chair, Orford Selectboard; Carl Schmidt, Orford Historical Society; new Rogers House owners, Jared and Elise Henningsen; Paul Goundry, Selectboard member; Anne Duncan Cooley, former Selectboard Chair; David Smith, Selectboard member.   Photo by Ted Cooley.

Presentation of 200-year old office sign of Attorney and Rogers House builder, John Rogers.  Left to right, John Adams, Chair, Orford Selectboard; Carl Schmidt, Orford Historical Society; new Rogers House owners, Jared and Elise Henningsen; Paul Goundry, Selectboard member; Anne Duncan Cooley, former Selectboard Chair; David Smith, Selectboard member.   Photo by Ted Cooley.

Working together, the Town’s Selectboard, the N.H. Preservation Alliance and an ad-hoc citizen group led by long-time preservationist Carl Schmidt of Orford, met the goal of finding the preservation buyers and protecting the house for future generations with an easement held by the N.H. Preservation Alliance. The preservation easement was completed at no cost to the Town thanks to generous donors.  The Selectboard worked swiftly, with citizen input, to get the property back on the tax rolls and preserve the integrity of the historic “Ridge” neighborhood of Orford.

The Rogers House is second from right in this photo by Peter Randall

The Rogers House is second from right in this photo by Peter Randall

The Rogers House is one of Orford's seven Ridge Houses, built in a row on the east side of Main Street between 1804 and 1838. These homes are one of the most outstanding examples of rural Federal residential architecture in the United States.  Built by local attorney John Rogers, the Rogers House has been listed since 1977 on the National Register of Historic Places as part of a recognized Historic District.  Over the past years, the property has had a series of owners, including a couple who in 1916 made extensive enlargements to the rear of the house and its gardens. 

Saving historic buildings “one slice of pie at a time”: 2017 Preservation Achievement Awards Announced

“I feel like my biggest accomplishment tonight is finding clothes without paint splatter,” joked Canterbury Shaker Village’s David Ford from the stage as he accepted an award for outstanding rehabilitation of the Shaker Trustees’ Office. The Trustees’ Office, along with a dozen other projects, was honored Tuesday night at the 28th Annual Preservation Achievement Awards in Concord.

The awardees varied in scale and geography, but all shared underlying similarities. According to the Preservation Alliance’s executive director Jennifer Goodman, that common thread is “high-quality investments that benefit residents and visitors, and catalyze additional community development activities.”

“The projects are all very complex,” she added, and “tenacity and creativity are also ingredients in all.”

The Effingham Preservation Society, which won an award for their fifteen-year long rehabilitation of the Weare Drake Store Building, relied on literal ingredients to fund their project. Karen Payne, president of the Effingham Preservation Society, summed up her group's secret to success: "We did it one slice of pie at a time," adding, "While we were baking and sharing...and baking...we built camaraderie and community."

Special guests and past award winners Executive Councilor Joseph Kenney, Senator Martha Fuller Clark and dairy specialist and barn preservation advocate John Porter helped introduce the awards. “We welcome this opportunity to recognize outstanding projects and while hopefully inspiring others,” said Goodman.   “These are the kinds of places we can’t imagine New Hampshire without and we want to recognize the people who have worked to save and revive these landmarks.” 

Every awarded group breathes new life into their community through educational initiatives, rehabilitation of iconic buildings, or timely rescue of irreplaceable assets. This year’s group included work done by nonprofits, municipalities, the State of New Hampshire, and the business sector.

“I’m glad I’m not the only for-profit party up here, but I can tell you, at times my project felt a lot like a nonprofit,” Karen Bouffard quipped about her rehabilitation of 100-2 State Street in Portsmouth.

The night was filled with meaningful remarks that highlighted why old buildings matter – a timely topic for Preservation Month. David Adams, also of Portsmouth, received an award for his decades-long commitment to preservation carpentry. Describing a job he was on many years ago, Adams recalled a moment when his friend encouraged him to slip his hand into a groove behind a plaster medallion’s wreath of fruit. “I could feel my fingers sliding into the little sockets that were made by the men that pushed that piece of plaster fruit up into that bit of ornament, and his fingerprints were still there and I felt for a moment as if I were reaching through time and shaking his hand. That does it for me."

Besides motivated individuals, successful projects received help from state and national incentives. Investments by the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP) funded work in five of the projects this year. Support from the Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA), the downtown revitalization tax incentive (RSA 79-E), and federal historic preservation tax credits were instrumental in others. The winner of the Elizabeth Durfee Hengen Award this year – the Lane Homestead in Stratham – benefitted from being listed to the Alliance’s Seven to Save.

Generous awards program sponsors include Sheehan Phinney, AECm, LLC, Artistic Tile, LLC, The Common Man Family of Restaurants, LavalleeBresinger Architects, Meredith Bohn Interior Design, Milestone Engineering & Construction, Inc., Selectwood and Christopher P. Williams Architects, PLLC.

The awarded projects join dozens of past recipients. This year's winners are:

Effingham Preservation Society for rehabilitation of the Weare Drake Store Building

Canterbury Shaker Village for outstanding rehabilitation of the Trustees’ Office

Northwood Congregational Church for restoration and rehabilitation of its landmark building

State of New Hampshire for restoration of the State House Dome

Jeff and Sarah Barrette for the revitalization of the Monadnock Mills Boarding House/Store House #5 for the Ink Factory Clothing Co.

Karen Bouffard for the rehabilitation of 100-2 State Street, Portsmouth

City of Concord for rehabilitation and revitalization of Concord’s Main Street

David Adams for outstanding contributions to the field of historic preservation

Manchester Historic Association for outstanding historic preservation education and outreach

Town of Stratham for its preservation of the Lane Homestead

Certificates of Merit were awarded to:

Town of Hillsborough and the Trustees of the Fuller Public Library for the rehabilitation of the Fuller Public Library/ John Butler Smith House

Windham Presbyterian Church for restoration of its bell tower

Hampton Town Clock Committee for the rescue and restoration of the Hampton Town Clock

Weare Drake Store Building, Effingham

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: Effingham Preservation Society for outstanding rehabilitation of the Weare Drake Store Building

with: Rooster Productions Design/Build

For fifteen years, the Effingham Preservation Society has worked to rehabilitate the Weare Drake Store Building. The 200-year-old building, which throughout its history has served as a general store, the Carroll Literary Institute, and Effingham Grange, now serves as the home of the Effingham Preservation Society and as a community gathering space.

The Society repaired the foundation and fire escape, re-shingled the roof,  restored windows, created handicap access, added septic and water, refinished floors, updated the electrical, and improved kitchen facilities to allow expanded use while respecting the legacy of the building and its existing spaces. Like the store keepers, students, and Grangers in years past, the Effingham Preservation Society has breathed new life into the building and village. They have hosted concerts, presentations, storytelling, art shows, plant sales, and weekly bake sales with “Coffee and Conversation.”  Proceeds from these events, a timely bequest, and annual membership dues of just $5, help fund the building’s restoration.

Karen Payne, President of the Effingham Preservation Society, said that the building's rehabilitation was more than about aesthetics. "We’ve been preserving Effingham 'one slice of pie at a time' and while we were baking and sharing...and baking...we built camaraderie and community." 

The result is a building that represents layers of Effingham history and the power of a scrappy organization that believes historic resources can be used to harness the power of community. 

Canterbury Shaker Village - Trustees' Office

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: Canterbury Shaker Village for outstanding rehabilitation of the Trustees’ Office

with: David Ford (Canterbury Shaker Village Property Manager), Preservation Timber Framing, LCHIP

The Trustees’ Office at the Canterbury Shaker Village was the last major rehabilitation project in a campaign that started nearly thirty years ago at this National Historic Landmark. Surprisingly, the Shakers were known for embracing improvements and innovations – from early cars to linoleum. The team here appropriately embraced the “new” materials found in the building, and the pressed tin ceilings and walls, the linoleum floors, and the wallpaper were all retained. The building also received updated electrical, heating, security, plumbing, and fire suppression systems while preserving the character-defining features of the interior spaces.

On the outside, the building was re-pointed, the slate roof and twin porches repaired, and the windows and trim restored. Today, the building is open for the first time since 2001, and includes an apartment for the Farm Manager, office space for four departments, and a new exhibit about the post office and how Shakers interacted with the outside world.  

Here’s what property manager David Ford said about the project:

“It is always an honor to work on historic properties. The level of craftsmanship forces the team to bring their A game, especially when dealing with the Shakers. The Trustees’ Building is a brick building with 90% of the interior walls being brick as well, of course with a plaster coating. This explained the arched doorways in the basement, as the arch can support much more weight. This also required all wiring and sprinkler systems to be exposed and painted! A word of advice to those removing old linoleum floors...check for asbestos first and, secondly, be prepared to deal with a bad floor underneath. Why put linoleum on a good floor? That’s just not the Shaker Way!”

Photo courtesy of LCHIP

Photo courtesy of LCHIP

Photo courtesy of David Ford

Photo courtesy of David Ford

Northwood Congregational Church

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: Northwood Congregational Church for outstanding restoration and rehabilitation of its landmark building

with: Preservation Timber Framing, Monadnock Archaeological Consulting, LCHIP

Built in 1840, the Northwood Congregational Church served the community of Northwood Center satisfactorily for the first hundred years of its existence, but by 1940 the congregation had dwindled and the church was closed. It was used only sporadically for the next forty-eight years for an occasional wedding and the yearly Coe Brown Academy Baccalaureate services. A new congregation formed in 1988 and began the long process of bringing the building back from a state of neglect and disrepair.

According to Chris Kofer, who accepted the award on behalf of the congregation, what started out as a routine investigation into their failing front decking material quickly turned into a $450,000 project. The relatively small congregation raised $250,000 and received a $200,000 LCHIP grant to tackle the deteriorated structural elements and restore the exterior of the church.

In 2015 and 2016, the bell tower was temporarily supported while the four Doric columns were removed for repair. After archaeological work was completed, the portico deck was entirely removed, a new foundation with proper drainage was installed and the original granite capstones were re-positioned. A white oak timber frame and planking system replaced the existing deck while massive timbers were installed inside the restored columns to transfer the bell tower weight to the new foundation.

Inside the bell tower, girts, braces and bed timbers were replaced due to excessive rotting. The King posts in the main trusses in the attic were restored from damage that occurred during a lightning strike. The sanctuary chancel was lifted to allow a new foundation and sills to be installed. The pilasters, decorative trim and flashings on the exterior of the bell tower were repaired and replaced as necessary, and the entire exterior of the church was painted. The crowning touch of the project was the duplication and replacement of the balustrade on top of the bell tower that had previously blown down in a windstorm.

Kofer added, "Our project has been completed and in retrospect, all are very thankful that our congregation chose to care for our sanctuary [in a manner] that very much respects its history."

Before the project began, a banner hung from the columns that read, “Don’t judge a church by its outside.” The congregation now welcomes not only your judging eyes as you pass by on Route 4, but they extend a genuinely warm welcome to any and all to step inside and worship.

Photos courtesy of Preservation Timber Framing.

State House Dome

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: State of New Hampshire: Department of Administration Services, Bureau of Plant and Property Management Division of Public Works for outstanding restoration of the State House Dome

with: Turnstone Corporation, D.L. King and Associates, Lavallee /Brensinger (Architect), Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, DHG Glabe & Associates, Jay Steel LLC, Longchamps Electric, RTH Mechanical Contractors, John L. Carter Sprinkler Co., MJ Murphy & Sons, Academy Roofing, Seacoast Scaffolding, Dennison Millwork, Caprioli Painting, Evergreen Architectural Arts, Priestly Lightning Protection LLC

This project started with the regular sorts of challenges as well as two more unusual ones: the crews had to complete the restoration of the dome in a single season (to avoid gilding failure as seen in the last project of its kind) and scaffolding had to be built that didn't rely on the existing roof. 

After months of evaluating of existing State House structure, the team came together with a platform design to be supported by the existing masonry within the building. The permanent platform -invisible from the street - had to support 500,000 pounds of scaffolding and equipment.

Turnstone Corporation was hired to orchestrate one of the state’s most complex and delicate engineering projects. Challenges included ensuring safety to visitors and employees while scaffolding was constructed; a ten week timeline to construct the permanent scaffolding platform; obstacles for crane operators and steel delivery trucks; and the need for absolute precision and execution on a building that is not perfectly square.

The City of Concord’s Fire Department and the Police Department assisted to make this work efficient and safe for everyone. Once the platform was constructed in November 2015, then the Dome Restoration project was back on track. D.L. King orchestrated the next step: replacing rotting pine trim on the lantern and dome with white oak, patching sheathing, repairing windows, painting the exterior, re-gilding the eagle, and applying gold leaf last done in the 1990s by a crew clipped into bosun’s chairs. The scaffolding allowed workers to be within inches of the surface of the Dome and Lantern Base. Thanks to great team approach, solid partnerships, dedicated crew, and the occasional pizza party, the dome was finished on time and on budget. The result of this multi-million dollar restoration is stunning, from the smallest details to the re-gilding of the Eagle.

It was a monumental task for a monumental building and it promises to delight generations to come.

Photos courtesy of D.L. King and Associates.

Monadnock Mills Boarding House/Store House #5 for the Ink Factory Clothing Co.

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: Jeff and Sarah Barrette for the outstanding revitalization of the Monadnock Mills Boarding House/Store House #5 for the Ink Factory Clothing Co.

with: Frank J. Barrett, Jr. AIA (Barrett Architecture, PC), Lisa Mausolf (Preservation Consultant), NH Division of Historical Resources

Ink Factory owners Jeff and Sarah Barrette purchased the former Monadnock Mills Boarding House and Store House #5 with the dream of turning the derelict building into the home of their screen printing and embroidery business. Their previous location was too small and they wanted to remain in Claremont, but all available space wasn't adequate. "My wife [Sarah] encouraged me to look into this derelict track down the owner and ask if he was willing to sell. So I did."

The owners invested $430,000 and used federal historic tax credits and the downtown tax incentive program, 79-E, to make the project, located in the city's historic mill district, feasible. And Jeff personally restored sixty-two windows over one winter. Restoration included repairing the brick cornice and re-pointing the exterior, patching holes in the walls, replacing 60% of the carrying beams, refinishing the floors, and retaining character defining features of the space, including arare surviving supervisor’s office on the first floor and the storehouse ramp.

In the end, the project is a boon to the Barrette’s business, their five employees, and downtown Claremont, which has recently seen other preservation-related investments. According to Jeff, “I really want Claremont to thrive and the more success we have here, the more success there will be for everybody around it.”


After. Photo courtesy of Lisa Mausolf.

After. Photo courtesy of Lisa Mausolf.

Before. Photo courtesy of Lisa Mausolf

Before. Photo courtesy of Lisa Mausolf