Late last fall, National Geographic Traveler Magazine
came out with its 6th annual list of destinations rated by stewardship. As noted on their website, "the list-isn't a popularity contest. It is an assessment of authenticity and stewardship, evaluating the qualities that make a destination unique and measuring its "integrity of place."
It's all part of the Vermont "brand" that is the foundation of our economic well-being and future.
The State of Vermont scored an impressive 78 points, placing us FIRST IN THE UNITED STATES, and FIFTH IN THE WORLD, between Ancient Kyoto and Slovenia.
So congratulations, but we all need to keep working! Stewardship is an on-going process and requires constant attention. A piece of what is behind our "brand" is fragile and at risk. Let's make sure Vermont continues to be Vermont!
P.S. The see the full list and read more about their methods, please visit:
Putney General Store Proprietor Search Underway
The Putney Historical Society is actively seeking a proprietor for the Putney General Store, which will be rebuilt within a year. If you are interested, or know someone who might be, please download this Request for Letters of Interest [PDF],
and submit your letter by March 26th. Thank you.
Putney General Store construction to begin this spring
US Senator Patrick Leahy and members of the Putney Historical Society, Preservation Trust of Vermont and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board met at the site of the Putney General Store Wednesday morning to announce that a new $60,000 federal grant will ensure that construction on the new General Store can begin this year.
"None of us here could have imagined that instead of touring a new and improved Putney General Store today we would be standing in front of a vacant lot," said Leahy. "But the fact that we are still here is a testament to the Putney community and another example of how in a time of crisis Vermonters pull together."
Before the November 2009 fire that destroyed the Putney General Store for a second time in under two years, Leahy had announced he had secured a $100,000 appropriation, in partnership with the Preservation Trust of Vermont, to rebuild the community-supported project. Leahy said the new $60,000 appropriation would be available immediately, enabling the Putney Historical Society to move forward with construction this year.
"The significance of this money cannot be overstated. It is the last big push we need, to ensure we can move ahead without delay," said Putney Historical Society President, Stuart Strothman.
During Wednesday's visit to the site of the Putney General Store, Leahy pointed out that while these funds will help move the project forward, fundraising is not complete. A recent $20,000 matching grant from the Thomas Thompson Foundation requires a $40,000 match. Combined with the Thompson grant and match, the Leahy appropriation brings the estimated $920,000 campaign within $80,000 of completion. Strothman noted that the project may be able to get a loan to cover the difference.
The Putney Historical Society has also accessed funding from the Vermont Community Development Program, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Windham Foundation, and many other community donors and corporate donors.
East Monkton Church
An East Monkton volunteer group is rehabilitating their village church as a space for occasional services, performances, and gatherings. They are looking for your help! Pews are adorned with 1-3/4 inch rosettes, some of which have gone missing. Does anyone have a lead on locating replacements? If so, please contact project coordinator, Candace Polzella, email@example.com
Lake Champlain Bridge: Closed and Demolished
The Story: A Bridge Too Far
The 1929 Lake Champlain Bridge Must Be Demolished.
By Elizabeth McNamara, Preservation Magazine Online, 12/21, 2009
The Lake Champlain Bridge's 1929 opening ceremony was attended by Franklin D. Roosevelt, then governor of New York state.
Last month, it took Carole St. Pierre more than two hours to commute from her home in Crown Point, N.Y. to her office in Vergennes, Vt. As the crow flies, the two towns are about 30 miles apart, and for 25 years St. Pierre's commute by way of the Lake Champlain Bridge took fewer than 30 minutes. Read More... http://www.preservationnation.org/magazine/story-of-the-week/2009/a-bridge-too-far.html
Visit the site below to see video footage of the demolition of the bridge.
Visit the site below to read the NY State Department of Transportation's report and see designs for the new bridge.
State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles Named State Historic Preservation Officer
Vermont's long-time State Archeologist has been named State Historic Preservation Officer and Director of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Giovanna Peebles will assume the post immediately, according to Kevin Dorn, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
"Giovanna Peebles has served the people of Vermont as State Archeologist since 1976. Her long experience in this field and in historic preservation overall, as well as her passion for our state's extraordinary heritage, makes her well-qualified to take over as State Historic Preservation Officer for Vermont."
As State Historic Preservation Officer, or SHPO, Peebles, is responsible for administering the state's historic preservation program under the federal National Historic Preservation Act and under the Vermont Historic Preservation Act.
Governor Douglas Announces More than $200,000 in Historic Preservation Grants
Governor Jim Douglas recently announced more than $200,000 in 19 matching grants to projects for the restoration and preservation of historic buildings across Vermont, including the Vermont History Center in Barre.
The grant program, administered by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, provides owners of historic buildings with matching funding of up to $15,000 for a variety of capital repairs.
"Preserving Vermont's historic buildings and structures is an important effort," Governor Douglas said. "These grants help leverage significant private investment in historical buildings, which serves not only to put people to work but maintains Vermont's character and enhances our tourism economy."
This year, there were 42 applications for grants and 19 were awarded totaling $204,353, for projects with a total construction value of $1.9 million. The projects receiving funding are listed below:
- Addison -- DAR John Strong Mansion Museum for repairing sixteen windows, front entry sidelights and deteriorated bricks and mortar. Cost: $65,000 Award: $15,000
- Burke -- West Burke United Methodist Church to install a new standing seam metal roof. Cost: $28,765 Award: $14,328
- Wallingford -- First Congregational Church of Wallingford for structural stabilization and roofing of the tower and belfry. Cost: $108,623 Award: $15,000
- Newbury -- Old Village Church to install a new standing seam metal roof and reinforce the roof structure. Cost: $51,700 Award: $15,000
- Rochester -- Pierce Hall Community Center, Inc. for repairing the roof framing and fascia boards. Cost: $633,725 Award: $8,468
- Royalton -- Royalton Town House for foundation repair. Cost: $7,500 Award: $3,750
- Montgomery -- Pratt Hall/Montgomery Historical Society for structural repairs to sills and joists. Cost: $130,000 Award: $7,500
- Brandon -- Brandon Free Library for minor roof repairs and installation of a perimeter drainage system. Cost: $18,000 Award: $9,000
- Wells -- St. Paul's Episcopal Church for window rehabilitation. Cost: $78,000 Award: $11,371
- Lyndon -- York Street Meeting House for structural repairs to the roof truss system. Cost: $215,000 Award: $15,000
- Northfield -- United Church of Northfield for structural repairs to the tower and roof rafters. Cost: $68,500 Award: $10,750
- St. Johnsbury -- St. Johnsbury Athenaeum for the restoration of four ventilation monitors and gallery roof. Cost: $103,180 Award: $15,000
- Barre -- Vermont Historical Society for repairing the tower roof and flashing. Cost: $124,404 Award: $12,843
- Orwell -- The First Congregational Church of Orwell for restoration of two stained glass windows. Cost: $24,000 Award: $12,000
- Isle La Motte -- Isle La Motte Town Hall to repair the site drainage, sills, siding, roof, chimney, windows and doors. Cost: $22,750 Award $11,375
- Newfane -- The Old Schoolhouse for repairing sills and joists. Cost: $3,226 Award: $1,500
- Richmond -- Town Center Building to repair the front entry portico. Cost: $200,000 Award: $8,468
- Thetford -- First Congregational Church in Thetford to install a new standing seam metal roof and flashing. Cost: $20,000 Award: $9,500
- Shrewsbury -- Shrewsbury Community Meeting House for replacing two supporting beams in the belfry with oak beams. Cost: $17,000 Award: $8,500
Vermont Ranks #1 In Per Capita Use Of Federal Historic Tax Credits
A recent federal report ranks Vermont the top state in per capita use of Federal Historic Tax Credits to rehabilitate historic buildings and 10th in the nation overall - rising from 12th overall last year.
A total of 34 rehabilitation projects with a total construction value of more than $23 million received $4.6 million in federal tax credits last fiscal year.
State officials credit the decision several years ago to require those seeking state historic Downtown Tax Credits to first get Federal Historic Tax Credits with putting Vermont to consistently within or just outside the top ten states nationally for use of the credits, despite its small size.
"This linkage allows building owners to layer the state and federal credits on a single project," said Commerce and Community Development Secretary Kevin Dorn, "There is always risk in the rehabilitation of an older building because you never know what you will find when peeling back the layers."
"Combining the programs not only leverages the economic impact of the state's investment, it helps mitigate this risk and convinces more property owners to undertake historic rehabilitation projects in our downtowns and villages," Dorn said.
In the past ten years, the program has leveraged over $38 million dollars in federal funds and $190 million in private capital to revitalize historic commercial buildings, most of them in Vermont's downtowns and village centers.
The programs are administered by the Division for Community Planning and Revitalization, in partnership with local communities. Additional details and application guidelines are available at www.HistoricVermont.org
The Outlook on Windows: New Threats, New Strategies
By Adrian Scott Fine, National Trust for Historic Preservation
Name the hottest national issues of 2009. How to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and how to revive the battered economy are both likely to be at the top of your list. Tapping into both concerns, debates about whether owners of older buildings should replace or retain their existing windows-conversations preservationists have been engaged in for years-got a lot hotter as well.
Good or bad, windows have become the lightning rod for a growing debate at the national, state, and local levels about how best to save energy and stimulate the economy.
In the face of the new-product bias of federal incentive programs and the hype from window manufacturers, how can preservationists convince property owners and others that, in many cases, existing windows are valuable assets that should be retained and preserved?
Tell Congress to Restore Preservation Funding!
In early February, President Barack Obama released a budget request that would have devastating repercussions on historic preservation efforts across the country.
In addition to slashing funding for National Heritage Areas by 50%, the proposal would eliminate two key preservation programs - Save America's Treasures and Preserve America.
The reality is this funding matters now more than ever, and not just because these programs protect and preserve our national heritage. From coast to coast, people need jobs and cities need engines for economic development - two things these programs have a proven track record of creating.
The time to act is now. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has launched an aggressive campaign to save this funding that now hangs in the balance.
Economist Don Rypkema has prepared a very compelling analysis of the benefits of the Save America's Treasures and Preserve America programs compared to the benefits of stimulus funding. From his blog, http://www.placeeconomics.com/blog.html
here's the story:
Between 1999 and 2009, the Save America's Treasures program allocated around $220 million dollars for the restoration of nearly 900 historic structures, many of them National Historic Landmarks. This investment by the SAT program generated in excess of $330 million from other sources. This work meant 16,012 jobs (a job being one full time equivalent job for one year...the same way they are counting jobs for the Stimulus Program). The cost per job created? $13,780.
This compares with the White House announcement that the Stimulus Package is creating one job for every $248,000. Whose program is helping the economy?
The 2010 National Preservation Awards
Each year we celebrate the best of preservation by presenting National Preservation Awards to individuals and organizations whose contributions demonstrate excellence in historic preservation. We invite you to nominate a deserving individual, organization, agency, or project. The deadline for all award nominations is March 1, 2010.
What Will You Do for MayDay?Libraries, museums, archives, and arts and historic preservation organizations across the nation will set aside May 1, 2010, to participate in MayDay, a national effort to prepare for disasters.
Sponsored by Heritage Preservation and other members of the Heritage Emergency National Task Force, MayDay encourages organizations to take one simple step to protect the art, artifacts, records, and historic sites they hold in trust. Any organization can participate in MayDay. For more information: http://www.heritagepreservation.org/PROGRAMS/TFlessons/MayDay.html
|Resources & Opportunities
Call for Volunteers from the President of ICOMOS
ICOMOS is looking to identify volunteers or groups of volunteers who would be willing to be deployed to Haiti when needed. Anyone interested in volunteering should drop Gustavo Araoz a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10 Things Your Revitalization Organization Can Do Now
Diversity Scholarship Program
The Diversity Scholarship Program provides financial assistance to community leaders from diverse backgrounds to attend the National Preservation Conference, to be held next in Austin, Texas, October 27-30, 2010. For more information:
Session Proposal Submission Now Open for National Preservation Conference, Austin, TX, October 27-30, 2010
Join us in shaping Preservation's newest frontiers-the Next American City, and the Next American Landscape.
We've made some significant changes to the format and content of the National Preservation Conference to better provide an invigorating, challenging, and one-of-a-kind educational experience. New features include two new general sessions on Thursday and Friday mornings, one focusing on preservation issues for the Next American City, the other for the Next American Landscape; new, more interactive and inspiring session formats, and more exclusive exhibit hall time.
Deadline for session proposals is March 1, 2010.
To get more information on the conference, its new format, and to propose a session through the online submission system visit www.PreservationNation.org/conference
Landscape maintenance is a critical element in historic cemetery preservation. Yet often the landscape is neglected or improperly maintained, resulting in damaged historic features and a loss of historic landscape character.
The National Center for Preservation Training & Technology will present a one-hour National Park Service (NPS) TEL course addressing landscape maintenance in historic cemeteries. This professional course is geared to NPS employees but open to others. The course will air Thursday, March 18, 2010 at 1:00 EST and will be offered at a download site at national parks across the country. For more information, including locations and contact information, see http://www.ncptt.nps.gov/tel-course-addressing-landscape-maintenance-in-cemeteries/
Director of Development, Merck Forest and Farmland Center
Merck Forest and Farmland Center in Rupert, VT seeks a Director of Development who will work closely with the Executive Director and be responsible for all aspects of fundraising and marketing. The Development Director will communicate the mission of the organization and promote long term financial sustainability. To apply, send resume, cover letter, and references to Executive Director, Elaine Eisenbraun: email@example.com
. For further job details please go to www.merckforest.org
|In the Media
Communities on the Corner: What Country Stores Mean in Today's Vermont
by Helen Labun Jordan, Vermont's Local Banquet, Fall 2009
The local foods movement can claim its roots in Vermonters' earliest enterprises. Long before ski vacations and the Golden Dome, there was boiling down maple sap and digging root crops for the winter. But food isn't the only part of our local economy with a long pedigree. Our country stores have a history that stretches through the centuries, close on the heels of those first farms. And like those farms, today's country stores are both celebrated by their community and challenged to find a viable business model to carry them into the future.
Rutland Library Rejects Berwick Site
by Stephanie M. Peters, Rutland Herald, January 20, 2010
Citing rent projections beyond their financial means, the trustees of the Rutland Free Library announced Tuesday that they've abandoned their interest in moving the facility from its home on Court Street to the Berwick site.
Communities Saving Cherished Stores
BBC, July 2009
Many small independent stores have fallen victim to the economic downturn, but a growing number of communities are fighting back by banding together to buy and run cherished shops threatened with closure.
St. Albans Wal-Mart Under Appeal
By Matt Sutkoski, Burlington Free Press, Thursday, February 25, 2010
Not so fast.
A month after a Vermont Environmental Court judge ruled in favor of a proposed Walmart in St. Albans Town, opponents have filed legal briefs objecting to the store.
Shop Vacancies Not Just About the Recession
The Retail Bulletin, Thursday February 11, 2010
Recession has compounded the problems faced by some UK high streets but is not the only cause...
Help us to help communities throughout Vermont by making a donation today through our on-line giving program.