2018 Preservation Achievement Award: Jackson House, Portsmouth

Jackson 15.JPG

Built in 1664, the Jackson House is New Hampshire's oldest timber-framed building. It's also one of only twenty-three National Historic Landmarks in the state. Its age and significance meant that needed structural and drainage improvements involved years of careful planning and just the right team.

The project involved four components, aided in part by a $90,000 LCHIP grant:

1) Archaeological investigation revealed important 17th and 18th century artifacts, providing information about trade in early Portsmouth. In total, the investigation yielded 12,000 artifacts. 

2) Improving drainage to arrest the deterioration of the building's sills. 

3) Adding structural reinforcements to the house's lean-to in the shape of tubular steel, which is reversible, minimally invasive, and allows for visual distinction from the historic fabric. 

4) Replacing the wood shingled roof and specific clapboards with in-kind material. 

The Jackson House opens back up to the public on June 2 , when admission is free. Thereafter, the house is open the first and third Saturdays until mid-October. For more information, visit Historic New England's website


Historic New England

Independent Archeological Consulting, LLC

Woods & Co. Civil Engineering

GNCB Consulting Engineers

Safari Construction Management, LLC

Edmunds General Contracting, LLC

Curtis Earth Works, Inc.


100-2 State Street, Portsmouth

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: Karen Bouffard for the outstanding rehabilitation of 100-2 State Street, Portsmouth

with: Anne Whitney (architect), John Schnitzler (lead carpenter), John Wastrom (lead mason)

After Portsmouth’s disastrous fire of 1813, the Brick Act stipulated that buildings taller than one story had to be built of fire-resistant brick. Then owner, a silversmith named Thomas Drown, could only afford to build in wood, and so his one-and-a-half story house and shop became the exception on State Street. 200 years later, the sale of this small building nearly guaranteed demolition thanks to intense development pressure in downtown Portsmouth.

Fortunately, an owner with a passion for history and love of old buildings, purchased the oddity and began planning its rehabilitation. Karen Bouffard assembled a “dream team” to faithfully return the building to what it looked like in earlier historic photographs. Work included self-imposed archaeology, returning the original door and window arrangement, new clapboard siding and cedar shake roof, and the construction of a sympathetic rear addition.

In 1813, the Drowns offered their “sincere thanks to the inhabitants of Portsmouth…for their benevolent exertions in saving a proportion of his property in the late fire.” Today, we thank Karen Bouffard and her team for rehabilitating this distinctive building, one that will continue to tell the story of an improbable survivor.


Karen Bouffard, in front of her completed project. 

Karen Bouffard, in front of her completed project. 

100-2 State Street, before.

100-2 State Street, before.

David Adams

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: David Adams for outstanding contributions to the field of historic preservation

Since he was fifteen years old, David Adams has been fascinated with 18th century construction. Upon moving to Portsmouth, he established Dodge, Adams & Roy, a pioneering firm responsible for restoring countless historic properties, including the William Pitt and Stoodley’s Taverns, the Governor John Langdon and Governor Benning Wentworth Houses, the Langley Boardman and Rundlet-May Houses, and properties at Canterbury Shaker Village.

Most recently, David embarked on re-restoring his 1743 Gates Street house, which suffered from fire damage in 2012 after thirty years of hard work. The process was captured on video in a series called The Craftsmen’s Journal, which allowed David to share with the broader public traditional carpentry skills – lessons that he has taught his dedicated followers for decades. Known in his circle as a “philosopher-king,” David encourages respect for and curiosity of our historic built environment, especially toward neglected or underappreciated buildings.

The Preservation Alliance is thankful for David Adams for his early and enduring impact on the preservation movement in Portsmouth and beyond – through civic engagement on the historic district commission, as mentor to many with his preservation construction company, and through the legacy of The Craftsmen’s Journal.


David Adams. Photo courtesy of The Craftsmen's Journal.

David Adams. Photo courtesy of The Craftsmen's Journal.

Adams' Gate Street House. Photo courtesy of The Craftsmen's Journal.

Adams' Gate Street House. Photo courtesy of The Craftsmen's Journal.