Preservation Trust of Vermont 

Historic Photo of Putney General Store Greetings!

Over the last 30 years, we've traveled to every corner of Vermont providing encouragement as well as technical and financial support.  We've gotten to know many communities that are successfully working hard to save and reuse their historic buildings.  We see story after story of how people have come together to rescue and reinvent a dilapidated building, a struggling village store, a deteriorated bridge, a vacant church and more.  In a world chock full of bad news, these stories of real people doing real things for Vermont are a true inspiration.Putney Store Post-Fire


Now, in an effort to share and celebrate these stories with everyone, we are pleased to launch PTV's Storytelling Project with the production of our first short movie on the frame raising of the Putney General Store.  Faced with not one but two major tragedies, the residents of Putney, Vermont have rallied together in amazing ways in the name of saving the heart of their village.

 Putney General Store New Timber Frame

Click here to hear the whole story, from the community.

Happy New Year,

Paul Bruhn
Executive DirectorSchematic of Putney General Store


P.S. Read below about today's great news from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Special thanks to Congressman Peter Welch for his efforts to protect the Wilderness Battlefield.

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PTV News

HP ConferenceStatewide Historic Preservation & Downtown Conference

Green Mountain College and in the Community of Poultney, Vermont

Friday, April 29 All Day

Come join participants from all over the state to hear professional presenters and participate in hands-on workshops and guided tours of local historic sites. This conference is a partnership between the Vermont Downtown Program and the Preservation Trust of Vermont.


More information coming soon to our website and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation's website

Grand Isle Lake House2011 Preservation Retreats
The Preservation Trust of Vermont hosts two-day Preservation Retreats at the Grand Isle Lake House from Spring through Fall. Retreats are for groups undertaking historic preservation and community development projects.


Participating groups present a ten minute case study about a project they're working on. The case study frames a question or problem that needs to be solved to advance their project. Two to three people typically attend from each group.


Leaders, participants and special guests share ideas, identify funding opportunities and technical assistance resources, and move projects forward.


2011 Preservation Retreats have been scheduled for: 


  • May 25-26
  • June 13-14
  • July 11-12
  • September 19-20
  • Oct 11-12

For more information, please contact



Paul Bruhn, PTV Executive DirectorFranklin Fairbanks Award Given to Paul Bruhn, Preservation Trust of Vermont Executive Director

Paul Bruhn was recently awarded the 2011 Franklin Fairbanks Award in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the preservation of the character and quality of Vermont's communities. This award is bestowed each year by the Fairbanks Museum Fellows

and ratified by the Museum's Board of Trustees.


From the Fairbanks Museum Board of Directors....


"For over 30 years, Paul Bruhn, Executive Director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, has been one of the most influential and successful voices for the distinctive Vermont character.   From the hallways of Congress to the untrammeled hills of the Northeast Kingdom, he has called upon us all to recognize, preserve, and put to creative use the working landscapes, historic streetscapes, and authentic vision and craft of Vermonters and their communities.  His is neither a nostalgic nor an insular view of Vermont but instead a far reaching vision - informed by places as diverse as the towns of Western Europe and the landscape of Nantucket Island - that seeks to honor and preserve our unique assets.   


Paul Bruhn's professional life began in journalism but he soon was called to manage the first Senate campaign of Patrick Leahy.  Following Senator Leahy's election, Paul served as his Chief of Staff in Washington for four years before returning to Vermont.   In 1980 he became the founding director of the Preservation Trust of Vermont, a position he has now held for 30 years.  Under Paul's leadership, this independent non-profit organization, drawing upon its close affiliation with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and generous support and encouragement from the Freeman Foundation and many other donors, has transformed the way Vermonters think about preservation.  PTV has distributed grant support to every corner of the state for community preservation projects, for visionary initiatives, and for emergency response to protect fragile infrastructure and unique working landscapes.  Each of these investments has also engaged communities in deeper understanding and appreciation of their heritage, from historic barns and diners to vital downtown centers, and of the lifestyles these assets support.  

Paul Bruhn also has brought his tireless vision and advocacy to his service on nonprofit boards including the Vermont Community Foundation, the Visiting Nurse Association, the Council on Vermont's Future, Local First Vermont, and the Vermont Life Magazine Advisory Board.  In recognition of his forceful leadership, persuasive influence, and dedication to clear principles, Paul has received numerous awards, including the President's Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the Richard Carbin Award from the Vermont Land Trust; and the Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership from Smart Growth Vermont."


Congratulations Paul! 

Vermont News
Cultural Facilities Grants Awarded

This year, thirteen Vermont institutions have been selected for 2011 Cultural Facilities Grants.  The grants, totaling $169,338 will improve existing facilities and expand their capacity to provide cultural activities for the public:


  • $10,000 to the Bryan Memorial Gallery (Jeffersonville) to create an office and meeting space within the gallery.
  • $3,620 to the Cutler Memorial Library (Plainfield) to support the installation of a new furnace.
  • $7,625 to the Esty Organ Museum (Brattleboro) to make access improvements to the entrance and rest room, winterize, and install a multi-media system compatible with assistive listening devices.
  • $20,000 to LPCTV Corp. (Ludlow) to support the construction of a new production studio and performance space for the community.
  • $10,250 to the Friends of Wardsboro (Wardsboro) to support the winterization of the Red Barn community space.
  • $2,875 to the Town Hall Theater, Inc. (Middlebury) to install snow guards on the slate roof.
  • $9,810 to the Pierce Hall Community (Shoreham) to expand the audience space to 150 or more in the u-shaped balcony.
  • $20,000 to the Town of Essex (Essex) to support the purchase and installation of new seating and seating platforms.
  • $5,518 to the Vermont Children's Theater (East Burke) to support access improvements to restrooms, the entrance, and parking areas.
  • $20,000 to the Vermont Studio Center (Johnson) to support the installation of a lift in the Red Mill building.
  • $20,000 to Weston Community (Weston) to support the installation of a sprinkler system in the Weston Playhouse.
  • $20,000 to the Wilder Club and Library (White River) to replace the library's front entry steps.
  • $20,000 to Morristown Centennial (Morrisville) to support the installation of an elevator to allow access to all parts of the library.


The Cultural Facilities grant program is administered by the Vermont Arts Council in conjunction with the Vermont Historical Society and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.  The purpose of this grant program is to assist Vermont nonprofit organizations and municipalities to enhance, create or expand the capacity of an existing building to provide cultural activities for the public.


Read On...

Wardsboro Library, Photo by Sanders Milens
Wardsboro Library
Photo by Sanders Milens


Wardsboro Library

In 1999, the Preservation Trust began working with the Friends of the Wardsboro Library as they began plans to acquire and rehabilitate a c. 1835 Greek Revival house in the center of the village for use as a town library and historical society archive. Their fundraising and planning efforts were successful, and today they have a beautiful Wardsboro Public Library, next to the community park in the center of the village. The Friends are now planning an expansion, with the help of a Cultural Facilities Grant, to expand services into the attached barn. The Preservation Trust of Vermont is helping with a $500 Robert Sincerbeaux Fund grant to hire Jeremiah Parker Restoration to update a condition assessment of the barn and Jared Moats of Structural Energy Conservation to complete an energy assessment. 


Philanthropost Bob  Hoehl, Burlington Free Press Vermonter of the Year

Friend to the Preservation Trust of Vermont, Bob Hoel was recently voted Vermont of the Year by the Burlington Free Press.   


All benefited from the charity of the late Robert "Bob" Hoehl, the self-made multimillionaire who gave generously to Vermont organizations and needy individuals in the years before his death Nov. 7 at age 68 - and who will continue giving through the Hoehl Family Foundation.

For a spirit of generosity that lifted Vermont people and institutions, the Burlington Free Press recognizes Robert H. Hoehl as the 2010 Vermonter of the Year.


Read On...



National News

NationalNational Trust for Historic Preservation Commends Walmart's Decision to Withdraw Plans for Supercenter at Wilderness Battlefield

By National Trust for Historic Preservation, January 26th, 2011


Walmart today announced that it has withdrawn its proposal to build a Walmart Supercenter at a location within the boundaries of Wilderness Battlefield - the site of one of the most important battles of the Civil War. The company instead plans to work with the local community in Orange County, Virginia, to identify an alternative site for development in the County. The company's development proposal at Wilderness - at a location described by historians as the "nerve center" of the Union Army during the 1864 battle - prompted the National Trust for Historic Preservation last year to list the battlefield as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. Orange County's approval of the development also became the subject of a legal challenge brought by local citizens and preservation organizations. The case was originally scheduled to go to trial this week in Orange County circuit court.


The National Trust for Historic Preservation applauds Walmart's decision, joining with our partners in the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition, a group including the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Civil War Trust, the Piedmont Environmental Council, Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, the National Parks Conservation Association, Preservation Virginia, and a number of other conservation organizations.


Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, made the following statement:


"The National Trust for Historic Preservation commends Walmart for taking this important step. By withdrawing the current proposal, the company has created an opportunity for all parties to work together to find an appropriate solution - one that will allow Walmart to pursue development elsewhere in Orange County, while ensuring that this important part of America's Civil War heritage is protected. We and other members of the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition are greatly encouraged that Walmart is willing to find another location for development - one removed from the battlefield - that we can all support. We also look forward to working with Walmart and others to ensure that the current site will never again become the subject of a development battle."




What Historic Places Do You Want to Save in 2011?

National Trust for Historic PreservationIt could be your favorite local diner or a treasured neighborhood movie palace.  How about the school you walked to as a kid, or even your corner grocery store?  It could be a project you've taken on yourself, or one being championed by a local preservation society, Main Street organization or other community group.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation wants to hear from you. And they want to know which places matter to you.

Tell the Trust about the places that tell your story.
Preservation Resources

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.

Hart Family Fund 

The Hart Family Fund provides nonprofit organizations and public agencies matching grants from $5,000 to $10,000 to assist towns with a population of 5,000 or less in preservation and revitalization initiatives.  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 preservation education activities to educate the public.  Funds are not available to support "bricks and mortar" restoration costs.  Application deadline is February 1st.  To apply for the Hart Family Fund, please use the application for the Preservation Fund. 

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


Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network

Funding for Energy-Saving Projects - VECAN Small Grants Program


This grant program offers an opportunity for Vermont faith communities to partner with others in their community and come up with initiatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions in Vermont towns.


If you have a project you are undertaking - or want to undertake - in your community that will help save energy, transition to using renewable energy or reduce your community's carbon footprint, don't miss the January 31, 2011 deadline to apply for up to $3,000 to support your effort. Find out much more and download the application at


VECAN is looking to support projects that:


* Employ strategies designed to produce energy-saving results and community-wide sustained capability for energy efficiency


* Leverage volunteer time and resources to increase the capacity on the project


* Have expected outcomes, including quantifiable results such as: number of local energy initiatives developed and advanced, measurable change in terms of town demographics, and/or energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduced


* Employ community based strategies that include opportunities for involving the public and/or other stakeholders


* Be replicable and potentially be able to achieve similar results in energy and/or emissions reduction if implemented by others


* Increase public awareness about the benefits of employing energy saving and clean energy initiatives.


For more information, please call Ginny Callan at 802-223-4622 or email

New Publication: Raising Money for Local Land Projects by Christine Graham

"Raising Money for Local Land Projects" is a basic how-to book designed for community groups trying to fund conservation projects.  Opportunities for land purchases often pop up suddenly, and the community members do not have experience or a proven donor-base to turn to. This booklet offers clear instructions on organizing your team, raising money, and meeting your goals to conserve your land, in the most straight-forward, efficient and caring way.


An Opportunity for Architects...

The Heritage Documentation Programs (Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey) seeks your assistance in promoting the Leicester B. Holland Prize 2011: A Single-Sheet Measured Drawing Competition. This new competition, open to both students and professionals, recognizes the best single-sheet measured drawing of an historic building, site, or structure prepared to HABS, HAER or HALS standards for our collection at the Library of Congress.

The winner of the Leicester B. Holland Prize 2011 will receive a $1000 cash prize, a certificate of recognition, and publication of the winning drawing in Architectural Record magazine.

There is no charge to enter the competition but the Holland Prize Entry Form (available on the HDP website) must be completed by May 31, 2011 and the completed entry postmarked by June 30, 2011. To download the Holland Prize Entry Form and for additional information, read on...