MANCHESTER — Historic buildings and other structures are at risk all over the state. Each year, the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance spotlights endangered historic properties and helps make the case for preserving and re-investing in these landmarks. Nominations for the Alliance's Seven to Save program are due on September 16 for the 2013 list, which will be announced on October 22.
New Hampshire is known for its historic character. Brick mill buildings, old barns, and stately homes and churches define the places that visitors and residents appreciate and enjoy. Arts and cultural activities are often centered in historic theaters, granges or schools, and recreational pastimes include dining in historic restaurants, traveling on historic roads and trails, and shopping in historic downtowns. However, many places have historic landmarks that are in decline, have not yet been revived, or may even be close to demolition. The uncertain future and deteriorated condition of these structures often jeopardizes surrounding property values and can represent a lost opportunity for economic and community development.
"Obstacles to the continuing or new use of many of these landmarks can frequently be overcome through creative planning, new investment, and the hard work of local advocates—all aspects of preservation that the Seven to Save program supports," said Maggie Stier, field service representative and coordinator of Seven to Save for the NH Preservation Alliance.
The Seven to Save program is now in its eighth year, with nearly half of the previously listed sites considered saved. Major success stories of properties that were once on the list include the revitalized Pandora Mill in Manchester and the restored Acworth Meetinghouse. Many others are making significant progress toward preservation. Last year's list included the Kensington Town Hall, the Littleton Community Center, Exeter's Ioka Theater, the Moultonboro Grange, New Durham's 18th century Meetinghouse, the Drew Mill and Dam in Union (Wakefield), and Walpole's Vilas Bridge.
"Investment in these properties provides opportunities for new uses, economic development and environmentally sustainable construction," said Jennifer Goodman, director of the NH Preservation Alliance. "Our goals include increasing local capacity for saving historic landmarks, and engaging more people in the worthwhile activities of the preservation movement, activities that have broad public benefit for the health and appearance of our communities."
Nominations to the New Hampshire Seven to Save list can be for residential or commercial properties, industrial heritage sites such as bridges or transportation structures, agricultural buildings, threatened building types, or a group of similar resources. The nominated resource must be over 50 years old and a significant representation of the state's heritage. Criteria for Seven to Save include the property's historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the Seven to Save listing would help in preserving or protecting the property.
Anyone can submit a nomination for the Seven to Save list. Previous nominations have come from concerned citizens, neighborhood advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, and municipal governments or commissions. Nomination forms may be downloaded at the Preservation Alliance's website, www.nhpreservation.org, or may be requested from the Preservation Alliance office at 603-224-2281. The submission deadline is September 16. The list will be announced at the N.H. Preservation Alliance's annual meeting on October 22 at the Masonic Temple on Elm Street in Manchester.