Preservation Trust of Vermont 


We've never had a year like 2010.  Normally, we have our successes and some losses.  That's true of our day-to-day work, but this year all of that is overwhelmed by the loss of too many great and special friends and supporters. 

All of us connected with the Preservation Trust have lost four extraordinary people who believed in our work and provided us with the tools and resources to do our jobs better and more effectively.  More importantly, each one was a close personal friend with whom we shared special moments and experiences. 

Henry JordanHenry Jordan was our Board Chair.  He and his wife Barrie were committed to building a sustainable future for our work and our organization.  Henry's love of life infused our work and often gave us the energy to move forward.  It would be impossible to overstate the importance of his leadership to the Preservation Trust and their passion for Vermont.

St. Albans, VTFrank Hatch
and his wife Serena provided much support including a major gift to establish an advocacy fund that helps us do our best to protect and strengthen the essential character of Vermont. Frank was a particularly wonderful person to share ideas and strategies with; he helped us explore the evolving role of the Preservation Trust. The support of Frank and Serena has been critical to preserving historic downtowns like St. Albans, pictured here.

Grand Isle Lake HouseBob Hoehl, with his wife Cindy, gave us the Grand Isle Lake House, which has become the public face of the Preservation Trust and the place where community leaders learn from each other and are inspired by what's possible.  In addition, Bob served on our Board and brought common sense wisdom to our decision-making.

Greensboro, VTAfter the death of his father, Houghton "Buck" Freeman assumed the position of Chairman of the Freeman Foundation and, with his wife Doreen and their son Graeme, provided a remarkable level of financial support over the past sixteen years that has touched virtually every community in Vermont. If you enjoy the beauty of a restored public or community building in your town -- such as the Greensboro Bend Childcare pictured here -- you should know that the Freemans very likely had a part in the effort. 

The Preservation Trust and our many local partners were not, of course, the only passion of these men and their families.  Their philanthropic interests supported and inspired dozens of organizations in Vermont and hundreds more in places throughout the nation, literally touching the world.  Their collective legacy in Vermont can be found in our village centers and downtowns, our farm and forest lands, libraries, new agriculture and community supported enterprises, our university and colleges, our healthcare system, and the many services that are so crucial to children, women, and families.

I hope we all can be good stewards of what these special people have provided us.

Happy Holidays,

Paul Bruhn
Executive Director

Summary of Our Work in 2010

Each of the 352 preservation projects has a story about benefits or challenges for its community. Here are a few examples:
  • In Putney, we are working with the Historical Society
    Putney General Store, Putney, VT
    New frame of the Putney General Store 
    and community to rebuild their downtown village store that was tragically lost to fire. They lost more than a store; it was a community gathering place and an economic engine for downtown. The new store is under construction is an example of a community supported enterprises.
  • In Poultney, we are working with the community and the Episcopal Diocese to find new uses for two churches no longer used for parish services. One of the churches, pristine with no electricity or plumbing, has been adopted by a Shakespeare Theater group that is committed to saving and using the building.
  • Allen House, Randolph
    Allen House, Vermont Technical College
    In Randolph, we are working with Vermont Technical College on the rehabilitation of the Federal style Allen House, which will serve as a model for energy sustainability and historic preservation, while training new students in best practices.
  • In St. Albans, we and the VT Natural Resources Council supported the Northwest Citizens for Responsible Growth's continued opposition of a 150,000 square foot Wal-Mart outside of town. At the same time, we advocated for an 80,000 square foot store downtown. Our downtowns and village centers are celebrated as part of the Vermont brand, yet they are fragile and endangered from sprawl commercial development. Downtowns and village canters are a focus of our work.
  • Among the projects we worked on were 52 churches, meetinghouses, and synagogues; 30 downtowns and village centers; 28 historical societies and museums; 26 town halls and community centers; 12 libraries; 10 community supported enterprises, 8 performing arts venues; and 4 historic bridges.
PTV Grants Awarded 2010
As part of the Field Service Program, we awarded 50 Robert Sincerbeaux Fund grants for technical assistance. Architects, contractors, engineers, and consultants fulfilled these grants at a greatly reduced fee as a community service for nonprofit organization.

East Burke, VT
Mt. View Animal Sanctuary, East Burke, VT
Statewide we visited with 35 barn owners to provide technical assistance for repairs; ten received barn grants for a condition assessment. Many barn owners subsequently applied for a grant from the Division for Historic Preservation.

Our partnership with the Freeman Foundation enabled us to award eight Preservation Grants totaling $180,000. It is impossible to overstate how important each project is to its community. Read More...

Through a new Community Forestry Project, the Preservation Trust is offering grants for tree planting in Designated Downtowns and Village Centers. Funding for this effort is provided by Bruce Lisman. In 2010, nine communities received Tree Planting Grants.

Ellis Block, Springfield, VT
Ellis Block, Springfield, VT

In partnership with Senator Leahy, the Village Revitalization Initiative awarded $675,000 to six community development and historic preservation projects in 2009. Two projects were added in 2010: a grant to Housing Vermont for the rehabilitation of the Ellis Block in Springfield, and to Friends of Algiers Village for the rehabilitation of the Guilford General Store.

Vermont News

Historic Preservation Plan DRAFTUsing Vermont's Past to Build a Better Future 2011 - 2015
The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (DHP) plays a key leadership role in influencing heritage stewardship in Vermont. One role it serves, as provided under state and federal law, is periodically developing the state's comprehensive heritage stewardship plan. Using Vermont's Past to Build a Better Future sets a course for the preservation, rehabilita­tion, use, management, promotion, and interpretation of the state's historic resources over the next five years. It provides guidance for planning and decision-making by anyone - individuals, organizations, agencies - who affect these resources, including the DHP.

Using Vermont's Past to Build a Better Future 2011 - 2015 - - Vermont's Draft State Heritage Stewardship Plan - - Is Ready For Your Review and Comment

It is important to work together to set and affirm statewide policy on heritage stewardship. The plan's vision, goals, and actions suggest directions for the VT Division for Historic Preservation and its many partners to work individually or together to help us keep Vermont's unique historic character and ensure the vitality of its communities.

We want your feedback on the Draft Plan!  Please submit comments by DECEMBER 30 to Giovanna Peebles at:

Vermont Women Veterans Search for Women's History Month

The Vermont Historical Society is teaming up with the Vermont Commission on Women and local Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW) units to record stories of Vermont women who have served in the military.  If you are or if you know a woman who has spent any time in the military, VHS wants to know!

Women who have served are veterans, and VHS wants to capture as much information about female veterans as possible.  The Vermont Women's History Project is where the biographical data will be stored.  VHS is interested in collecting oral histories as well.  Our women should be honored as veterans for the important work they've done and continue to do!  For more information, please contact Tess Taylor at  or by phone (802) 479-8505.

Vermont Historical Society Newsletter
The Vermont Historical Society produces an excellent electronic Local History Newsletter.  If you know of anyone who would like to receive the newsletter, please contact:
Lisa Evans, League of Local Historical Societies Manager, Vermont Historical Society, 60 Washington Street, Barre, VT 05641, (802) 479-8522.

National News

What Attaches People to Their Communities?
What makes a community a desirable place to live? What draws people to stake their future in it? Are communities with more attached residents better off?

Gallup and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation launched the Knight Soul of the Community project in 2008 with these questions in mind. After interviewing close to 43,000 people in 26 communities over three years, the study has found that three main qualities attach people to place: social offerings, such as entertainment venues and places to meet, openness (how welcoming a place is) and the area's aesthetics (its physical beauty and green spaces). Read More...

Sixteen Sites to See
from Preservation Magazine

They include grand estates, presidential homes, modern masterpieces, and the oldest continuously inhabited settlement in the country. Together, the 29 National Trust Historic Sites tell the story of our land through a combination of architecture, landscape, and momentous events. They speak of rich and poor, of black, white, Hispanic, and Native Americans. And they stand as tributes to the people who restored them so that future generations can learn about the past to better understand the present. In 1951, the National Trust began operating Woodlawn, its first historic site. In the years since, the Trust's collection has grown to include dozens more. Explore 16 of these sites (we'll feature the remaining 13 next year). We hope you'll be inspired, entertained, informed, and most of all, we hope that you'll visit these important places soon. Read More...

Preservation Resources

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...

Heritage Preservation, Conservation Assessment Program
2011 applications deadline January 21st
CAP provides a general conservation assessment of your museum's collection, environmental conditions, and site. Conservation priorities are identified by professionals who spend two days on-site and three days writing a report. The report can help your museum develop strategies for improved collections care and provide a tool for long-range planning and fund-raising. Learn more about CAP.

The CAP 2011 Application has been released in PDF and Microsoft Word form and is now available at There is also an online version of the application. Due to the delay in releasing the application, the deadline for Heritage Preservation to accept applications will be Friday, January 21, 2011.  CAP is supported through a cooperative agreement with the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

Institute of Museum and Library Services, National Leadership Grant
Application deadline February 1st
The National Leadership Grants program has been the capstone program for IMLS, providing the agency's highest level of support for innovative projects that generate transformative research, new tools, models, services, professional practice, and alliances that advance the awarded institution as well as the field. 

Interested museums and libraries can apply for a Project or Collaborative Planning grant in one of the following four funding categories: Research, Demonstration, Advancing Digital Resources, and Library-Museum Collaboration.

Applications, guidelines, and examples of successful proposals can be found the IMLS website. 

National Trust Preservation Funds provide two types of assistance to nonprofit organizations and public agencies: 1) matching grants from $500 to $5,000 for preservation planning and educational efforts, and 2) intervention funds for preservation emergencies. Matching grant funds may be used to obtain professional expertise in areas such as architecture, archeology, engineering, preservation planning, land-use planning, fund raising, organizational development and law as well as to provide preservation education activities to educate the public.  Application deadline is February 1, 2011.  Intervention Fund deadline is rolling.

The Johanna Favrot Fund for Historic Preservation provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 for projects that contribute to the preservation or the recapture of an authentic sense of place. Individuals and for-profit businesses may apply only if the project for which funding is requested involves a National Historic Landmark. Funds may be used for professional advice, conferences, workshops and education programs.  Application deadline is February 1, 2011.

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Fund for Historic Interiors provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies grants ranging from $2,500 to $10,000 to assist in the preservation, restoration, and interpretation of historic interiors. Individuals and for-profit businesses may apply only if the project for which funding is requested involves a National Historic Landmark. Funds may be used for professional expertise, print and video communications materials, and education programs.  Application deadline is February 1, 2011.

For more information on the above three grants, please contact the National Trust for Historic Preservation Northeast Regional Office  617-523-0885.

Lake Champlain Basin Programs Grant Programs
Application deadline December 22, 2010

  • 2010 Champlain Quadricentennial Legacy Grants  The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) and the Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) issues a Request for Proposals for funding in support of events, programs and projects that create a lasting legacy for the 2009 Champlain Quadricentennial.  Due December 22, 2010. Read on for more information....
  • Regional Stakeholder Group Coordination Grants  The Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership (CVNHP) and Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) issues a Request for Proposals for the awarding of grants up to $2,200 to provide coordination for Regional Stakeholder Groups in the 11 counties of the CVNHP. Regional Stakeholder Group Coordination grants will be awarded to organize, coordinate, and convene regular meetings among stakeholders in the regions that make up the CVNHP. Due December 22, 2010. Read on for more information....

In the Media

Our Working Landscape and Our Future
By David Donath, VT Digger, 11/22/10
In the hearts of most Vermonters, our state is first among the great places in America. Vermont is also a great, unspoiled place in the imaginations of its visitors, and in the minds of many thoughtful people around the country and the world. This identity or "brand" is the basis of Vermont's outstanding quality of life, and it drives much of our economy, including agriculture and food products, real estate and construction, and tourism. Read More...

Vermont Villages Struggle To Keep Local Stores Thriving
Vermont Public Radio, 12/01/10
by Susan Keese
Vermonters pride themselves on strong communities and distinctive villages.
For some towns, that means the presence of a central general store that serves as an important gathering place.  But keeping those stores open is a challenge. Read More...

This Old House May Be the Greener One

Marketplace, 11/17/10
Ironically, it seems that leading an environmentally friendly lifestyle is equated with getting rid of all your old stuff and starting fresh. American Public Media's Marketplace's Eve Troeh reports on how to be really greenwhen it comes to your new home.

The Re-Emergence of the Public Square:  Public Squares enhance urban livability and provide new anchors to downtown development
Project for Public Spaces
Today, cities everywhere are thinking more broadly about how to gain an economic boost. Big ticket items, like sports arenas and lavish performing arts centers, which cities once viewed as the key to reviving their struggling downtowns, are taking a back seat to new, lower-cost, high-impact strategies to foster prosperity. More and more, public squares and urban parks, not expensive mega-projects, are emerging as the best way to make downtowns more livable-and not just in depressed urban cores.

A central attraction of cities throughout the world, public squares not only bring economic rewards but offer people a comfortable spot to gather for social, cultural and political activities. They are the pulsing heart of a community and foster true urban sustainability. Read More...