Preservation Trust of Vermont 

The Village Revitalization Initiative Receives National Award

The Village Revitalization Initiative - a cooperative effort between Senator Patrick Leahy and the Preservation Trust of Vermont - is drawing more national recognition as the recipient of a National Trust for Historic Preservation Richard H Driehaus Award for the preservation and restoration of Vermont's historic buildings and communities, in downtowns across the state. 


Senator Patrick Leahy at the Guilford General Store opening.  With a grant from the Village Revitalization Initiative, The Friends of Algiers Village have rehabilitated the store and nearby housing to revive the town of Guilford.

The award to the Trust and to Leahy was presented at the annual National Preservation Conference in Savannah, GA, on November 13. The award recognizes the partnership between Leahy and the Preservation Trust of Vermont to direct funding through the HUD Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to build stronger and more economically vibrant village centers. Funding secured by Leahy through his work on the Appropriations Committee has been used to rehabilitate historic community buildings located in the heart of a Vermont community center or small downtown. 


The Village Revitalization Initiative has supported 27 unique projects in 25 communities throughout Vermont, resulting in a total federal investment of $2,435,200. This investment played a crucial role in leveraging nearly $27 million toward total project costs. 


Leahy said, "The Village Revitalization Initiative successfully demonstrated how federal, state and local leaders can partner to safeguard some of Vermont's most important assets - our cherished community structures. Vermonters are committed to finding creative solutions to tough challenges, and I am proud of the work that the Preservation Trust and the other partners have done to ensure a vibrant future for so many communities. I will always be committed to preserving Vermont's rich legacy and will continue to advocate for support to enhance the infrastructure and livability of our communities."


The North Hero Community Center
North Hero, VT 

Leahy initiated the program in an effort to make federal support more readily available for small scale rehabilitation projects.  The successful reconstruction of community-based projects often requires a mix of federal, state and local resources to meet high project costs. As the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee Leahy secured funding, which was sub-granted to communities by the Preservation Trust. The grants ranged from $20,000 to $250,000 for revitalization projects that spanned from $50,000 to $7 million in total costs.


The Preservation Trust of Vermont provided hands-on technical assistance, project management and grants management assistance.  Preservation Trust Executive Director Paul Bruhn said, "This grant funding has helped to conserve great architecture and inspire many community uses, rewarding community commitment and allowing for renewed prosperity in some of Vermont's smallest towns. Whether opening a shuttered performance hall, rehabilitating a former mill building and providing space for a grocery store, or rebuilding a village store, or developing an active community center, projects helped to increase the vitality and the beauty of their village center."


The collection of village-scaled historic preservation projects supported by the Initiative includes opera houses, libraries, village stores, a healthcare facility, housing block and community gathering spaces.  This success received similar recognition in 2011, when Leahy and the Preservation Trust received the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation's (ACHP) Chairman's Award for Achievement in Historic Preservation.


The projects also serve as job creation engines by creating both short-term and long-term construction opportunities for Vermonters.  HUD-EDI investments continue to play a vital role in the successful development of communities.


The locations of the Vermont projects to date and their grants/total costs are:


The Hardwick Town House
Hardwick, VT 

Addison County

  • Salisbury - Shard Villa: $100,000/$200,000 total
  • Ferrisburgh - Grange/Town Hall: $100,000/$2.5 million


Bennington County

  • Readsboro - Bullock Building: $100,000/$200,000 first phase          


Caledonia County

  • Hardwick - Jeudevine Memorial Library: $50,000/$200,000 total
  • Hardwick - Memorial Hall: $20,000/$40,000 total
  • Hardwick - Town House: $30,000/$50,000
  • Groton - Village Store and Library: $54,900/$3.5 million total     


The Bullock Building
Readsboro, VT 

Chittenden County


Richmond - Round Church fire suppressions system: $25,000/$215,000 in this phase



Essex County

  • Bloomfield - Town Hall: $70,000/$75,000 this phase/$200,000 total
  • Brighton - Town Hall/Opera House: $60,000/$500,000 total


Franklin County

  • Richford - Sweat Comings Health Care Center: $100,000/$7 million total


Grand Isle County

  • North Hero - Community Center: $100,000/$800,000 total       


Orange County

The Ferrisburgh Grange/Town Hall
Ferrisburg, VT 
  • Brookfield - Old Town Hall: $100,000/$400,000 total
  • Strafford - Town House Bell Tower: $50,000/$100,000
  • Bradford - Public Library: $75,000/$203,000 total
  • Randolph - Chandler Music Hall: $250,000/$3.5 million total


Rutland County

  • Brandon - Old Town Hall: $70,000/$900,000 total
  • Pawlet - Town Hall Auditorium: $75,000/$200,000 this phase
  • West Rutland - Carving Studio: $75,000/$200,000 total
  • Sudbury - Meeting House: $75,000/$130,000 phases 5 & 6/$250,000 total
  • Poultney - Bentley House: $100,000$/$220,000 total


The Brookfield Town Hall
Brookfield, VT 

Washington County

  • Worcester - Town Hall: $50,000/$162,300 total


Windham County

  • Rockingham Bellows Falls - Town Hall Theatre: $200,000/$850,000 total
  • Putney - General Store (Putney Historical Society): $160,000/$800,000 total
  • Guilford - Housing and General Store (Friends of Algiers Village): $65,000/$250,000 first phase


Windsor County

  • Rochester - Pierce Hall: $100,000/$700,000 this phase
  • Springfield - Ellis Block: $125,000/$3,401,051 total