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.