Preservation Trust of Vermont 

Preservation Trust Receives Award for Organizational Excellence

PTV Staff and Friends
Click to Watch the Award Video

 From the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation presented its Trustees' Award for Organizational Excellence to the Preservation Trust of Vermont during its recent 2010 National Preservation Conference in Austin, Texas.

The Preservation Trust of Vermont was founded with the goal of helping Vermonters save their historic places and that is exactly what has happened. In just three decades, the group has helped communities across the state save more than 1,000 buildings - village stores, post offices, schools, barns - all returned to productive use. Just this year alone, the Preservation Trust's staff of five worked on 352 preservation projects in 155 communities. 

The Preservation Trust of Vermont provides what preservationists need: technical and financial help and a great deal of encouragement. Through partnerships with legislators, foundations, businesses and individual donors, the group is able to provide much-needed grants to support preservation projects with an emphasis on revitalizing Vermont's downtowns and village centers.

Partnerships with other advocacy groups make the Preservation Trust an effective lobbyist for legislation that supports historic preservation and land conservation, downtown revitalization, affordable housing and smart growth. And since 1997, a model partnership with the National Trust has enabled the Vermont statewide preservation organization to hire professional field staff to spread the preservation message, train community volunteers and deliver a wide range of other preservation services across the state.

"It's impossible to catalogue the impact the Preservation Trust of Vermont and its executive director, Paul Bruhn, have had on nearly every town in the Green Mountain State," said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  "This group's passion, innovation, commitment and creativity have helped Vermonters keep their state a special place."  Read More...

Read the more about our work in a recent article titled "It Works" in the National Trust's Forum Magazine

A Special Offer from Gordon's EcoSmart Shades

Gordon's Window DecorTo: Historic Property Owners

From: The Preservation Trust of Vermont

A great way to save energy and save money!  A special offer on Gordon's EcoSmart shades...

As you know, we think historic windows are really important.  Historic windows are the eyes of a building.  The size of the pane, the profile of the muntin, and the joinery provide clues to date windows, tell a building's history, and are an important part of the beauty of historic buildings.  Yet, historic windows are disappearing at an alarming rate, often because property owners think they can only get energy savings with replacement windows.

We understand that owners of historic properties often struggle with energy efficiency issues.  In the past few months we have become familiar with a Vermont-made product that will help save energy.  EcoSmart shades from Gordon's Window Decor have been tested and have received a rating of an R-4+, so that the combination of a weatherized historic window, a good quality storm window, and an EcoSmart shade will yield in the range of R5.5+.  Clearly this is a significant improvement over a storm window and historic window combination as well as an improvement over thermo-pane replacement windows which generally yield an R value of R2.5-R3.  Unlike replacement windows, the combination of storm, historic window, and an EcoSmart shade offers the potential for harvesting solar gain during the day.

For more information, check Gordon's Window Decor website.

If you are interested in exploring the purchase and installation of EcoSmart shades, email,  or call Sandi at 802 338 9302 . Mention the Preservation Trust and you will receive a 15% discount off of their normal commercial rates.  This is a special offer available to non-profit organizations, homeowners, and businesses related to our historic preservation efforts.

The Preservation Trust receives no commission on the sale of this product--we're sufficiently impressed with this product and it's potential for saving historic windows that we wanted to let everyone know!

Preservation Trust of Vermont News

Emily WadhamsNews from Board Member Emily Wadhams

Emily Wadhams announced recently that after more than seven years, she will be leaving her post as the Vice Preseident of Public Policy at the National Trust for Historic Preservation and returning to pursue new ventures here in Vermont.

Stehpanie Meeks, the president of the National Trust, writes, "She has created and led the National Trust's Sustainability Program, finding new partners and new funding sources for this innovative and dynamic work.  She has been an effective leader on our policy issues before Capitol Hill and the Administration, ensuring that preservation has a strong voice.  And, she has been a wonderful colleague and friend to all of us."

Prior to going to the National Trust, Emily served for several years as the Vermont State Historic Preservation Officer.  She plans to continue working as a consultant in from Burlington in her area of interest and expertise -- sustainability and preservation.  Emily is currently the Vice President of the Preservation Trust of Vermont Board of Directors.

Click to see detailed Map of Where We Worked, 2010

Thirty Years and Still Going Strong
2010 marks the 30th anniversary of the founding of the Preservation Trust of Vermont.  If you'd like to see what we've done over the last three decades, take a look at our Timeline of Activities.  And if you'd like to see a visual representation of the communities we've been in this year alone, take a look at our 2010 Map of Where We've Worked. 

Bob Hoehl
PTV mourns the loss of friend and former board member Bob Hoehl. Bob and his wife Cindy's contribution to the work of the Trust is unparalleled; in 1997 they purchased Camp Marycrest (now the Grand Isle Lake House) then donated the facility to the Preservation Trust, thereby making the single largest donation of property we've ever received. Since that time, the Grand Isle Lake House has been fully rehabilitated and is now used as a retreat center and for special functions.  Bob served for three terms on the Preservation Realty Holdings Board from 1998 until 2006. We will miss you Bob!
Read Story in the Burlington Free Press...

Vermont News

Champlain History Project Wins Prestigious Award
Voyages of Discovery Project Team Wins 2010 AASLH Award of Merit

Lake Champlain
Shelburne Bay and Lake Champlain
A partnership of state and non-profit entities has won an important award for its project to educate Vermonters about the history and archeology of the Lake Champlain area as part of the Lake Champlain Quadricentennial.

At its recent annual conference, the American Association for State and Local History awarded the Lake Champlain Voyages of Discovery project a 2010 Leadership in History Award of Merit.

"This is a special honor, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to accept the award on behalf of the partnership," said project director Elsa Gilbertson, Regional Historic Site Administrator for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, which collaborated with Vermont Public Television; the Bixby Memorial Free Library in Vergennes; Broadwing Productions; and the University of Maine at Farmington Archaeological Research Center.


Rural Vermont Post Offices Could Be Slated to Close

by Tena Starr, VT Digger, on November 21, 2010

For nearly 100 years, rural Vermont has counted on free rural delivery of mail, and a local post office where people could send and receive packages, buy stamps and chat with neighbors.

But that could change. There's currently a bill in the U.S. Senate that would make it legal to close post offices that don't make money, and not many do. Read on...

National News

Bennington Bookshop, Bennington, VTFree Money for Shopping Locally
Small Business Saturday! It's November 27th!

Even American Express wants you to shop locally this holiday season! Register your Amex Card and then spend $25.00 or more at an eligible local business and get a $25.00 credit. According to American Express:

"Eligible merchants include any independently owned small businesses that accept the American Express Card.  Purchases made online, at large, national chains, at franchised business locations and at government agencies are not eligible."

Register your card with Amex at  and then shop locally on Small Business Saturday,November 27th Spend $25.00 or more on a single purchase. Amex then will apply a $25.00 credit to your account.

Visit the Small Business Saturday website for more information.

Legislative Update

Read here about the results of the mid-term election and the impact of the new Republican majority in the House of Representatives on the national historic preservation policy agenda. 

To read the complete text of this issue, please visit Public Policy Weekly Bulletin: Vol. 5, Issue 28 published by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

11 Most Endangered Places Nominations Due
Nominations are due for the 2011 listing of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places on January 14th 2011. America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places has identified more than 200 one-of-a-kind historic treasures since 1988. From urban districts to rural landscapes, Native American landmarks to 20th-century sports arenas, entire communities to single buildings, the list spotlights places across America that are threatened by neglect, insufficient funds, inappropriate development, or insensitive public policy. For more information and to download a nomination form, visit the 11 Most Endangered section of the National Trust for Historic Preservation website.

A Case for Historic Windows

By Ann Cousins, Preservation Trust of Vermont
Learn more at
Historic windows are an important, character-defining feature that contribute to an historic building's significance.  The size of the pane, muntin profile, method of joinery, and wood species are clues that help to date windows. 

Most historic windows are made of dense wood and, with proper maintenance, can last a very long time-much longer than most newer windows dating from 1940 when peg joinery was replaced with metal staples. Window conservation and weatherization combined with good storms and energy-saving shades can realize a better, more efficient unit than thermopane replacements.  Plus, there are economic advantages!  The cost is typically about the same to conserve as to replace, yet a conserved window will likely last 100 years in comparison to most replacement thermo-pane windows with an expected life of 20-25 years.  Looking at life cycle costs window conservation makes the best sense.

Why conserve?
  • It is the green solution.  Historic windows can usually be repaired so that they operate easily with light maintenance, lasting another 100 years.  Insulated glass loses effectiveness when seals fail resulting in cloudiness and condensation.  Most thermopane windows need full replacement rather than just replacing the panes; an exception is Woodstone windows.   Some of the better manufacturers typically guarantee seals for 20-25 years, but when they fail the guarantee is prorated. 
  • Refitting and weather stripping with good quality spring bronze weather strip (avoid less expensive plastic that loses its spring in approximately 1 year and has a 5-year life) reduces air infiltration, increasing comfort and saving energy.
  • The wood in historic sash is dense old-growth compared to plantation grown wood today.  Clad windows, in particular, use soft wood that swells with water infiltration, typically at the miters. Many manufacturers use finger-jointed pieces of wood that are glued together rather than full length sticks.
  • Mortise and tenon joinery, typically dating from before the 1940s, uses wood pegs so that the deteriorated parts of a window can be easily replaced.
  • Steam tables remove paint, putty, and their lead contaminates.  Historic windows should never be dip-stripped as this pushes not only stripping chemicals, but also lead, deeper into the grains
  • Adding a good quality storm window with efficiency coatings (there are advantages to exterior, but some prefer interior for aesthetic reasons) brings the R-value of windows closer to insulated glass.   Adding a Vermont-made Gordon's EcoSmart insulating shade, can result in a 5.5 to 6 R-rating.  Because the shades are operational, there is the advantage of passive solar heating during the day.

To see a list of contractors who specialize in window conservation, information for EcoSmart Insulating Shades and more resources for historic window conservation, please visit our website

 Learn more at!

Preservation Resources

Lake Champlain Basin Program
Learn more at the Lake Champlain Basin Program
Lake Champlain Cultural Heritage Funds Available

The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) and the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) request proposals for cultural heritage projects. Funding for these projects comes from the National Park Service. The two proposals include Quadricentennial Legacy Grants and Small Grants to convene Regional Stakeholder Meetings. Funds were secured by Senator Patrick Leahy. Read on...

Funding Directory
The 13th edition of the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation's Funding Directory for Historic Preservation in Vermont is now available on-line. This is the most comprehensive guide to funding sources for preservation work in Vermont.  Click here to download...

Energy Answers for Old Buildings
Prepared by the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation recently prepared an excellent resource that addresses many energy issues in historic buildings.  Topics covered include embodied energy, how to analyze your building conditions, insulation, moisture, windows, renewable energy sources, low cost ways to save heat, financial assistance and more.  
Download pdf file...

In the Media

South Londonderry Baptist Church
South Londonderry Baptist Church before the fire. Photo by Sanders Milens.
Fire Claims South Londonderry Church

- August 3, 2010
Driving through South Londonderry on Route 100, one of the most recognizable symbols used to be the steeple of the First Baptist Church. But that steeple no long exists.

"It's very difficult. It is very hard to even imagine," said Jackie Wiley, a church member. "When I was here earlier this morning, and left, and came back and looked up and the steeple was gone, it's shocking."
  Read On...

How Do We Keep America Rural?
by Neal Peirce, August 8, 2010, 2010 Washington Post Writers Group
With a classic glacial lake, steep mountainsides and grand vistas, the area around my family's summer home draws visitors and would-be new residents like a magnet. The visioning statements that surrounding towns have adopted place high value on land stewardship and retaining a rural lifestyle.

But what do the towns' actual zoning statutes actually call for? Overwhelmingly, they focus on suburban-style one- and two-acre lots, highly popular in recent years. And 68 percent of the the watershed is technically buildable.
Read On...

Village Stores in England
National Public Radio, September 2, 2010

Village life in Britain is under threat, with the closure of the pubs and stores that form the center of small communities. In the Oxfordshire village of Appleton, local people have set up their own "community shop" staffed and managed by volunteers. The British government is introducing legislation to make it easier for rural communities to manage their own affairs.
Read On...