PTV Highlights: 2001

Vermont has a rich collection of historic properties, and the combination of historic communities and the countryside make the state a very special place. Included are individual buildings like the Old Round Church in Richmond, The Flynn Theatre in Burlington, and the buildings at Shelburne Farms. There are also historic districts, which include small village centers, neighborhoods, downtown areas, and industrial sites. Examples include the Village of North Bennington, Park Street in Brandon, downtown Montpelier, and the marble works of West Rutland. Each of these historic resources adds to our economic and community health.

With generous support from a great many individuals, businesses, and foundations; the Preservation Trust has provided technical assistance and direct financial support to hundreds of community preservation initiatives. The Preservation Trust has also been at the forefront of the battle against sprawl in Vermont, and in promoting downtown vitality. The Trust has provided major financial support and technical assistance to local citizens groups battling sprawl. At the same time, the Trust has worked closely with Wal-Mart to develop smaller scale stores located in downtown districts.

Many of the Trust's other activities and projects are designed to stimulate a broader understanding of the importance and value of our historic architectural resources. The Preservation Trust is a statewide partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Here are some of the things we helped communities accomplish in 2001:

Preservation Grants
With funding from the Freeman Foundation, the Preservation Trust provided over $1,000,000 in grants to 32 preservation projects dotted across Vermont. Libraries, art spaces, museums, educational facilities, community meeting places, affordable housing, and churches all benefited.

Field Service Program
In partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation our Field Reps provided technical assistance and encouragement to over 150 local groups and communities during the year. Fifty-nine different organizations received project development grants from the Robert Sincerbeaux Fund...seed money to help communities and organizations take the next critical step in saving and using their historic places.

Downtown Initiatives
Each year we dedicate significant energy to help communities through challenging times. One example is the work we did this year in Brattleboro with a variety of local organizations, the Windham Foundation, and the Vermont Land Trust to help strengthen their community center. The former Retreat Farm on the edge of the city has been saved and is now owned and cared for by the Windham Foundation. We’re now working with the Brattleboro Arts Initiative to acquire the Latchis Theater and Hotel is the community’s once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire a performing arts facility. Both efforts have a lot to do with the future vitality of Brattleboro.

Village Stores
In partnership with the Vermont Country Store, we started a new initiative designed to help support existing village stores, and to help communities start up new stores where none existed. These stores have much to do with the vitality of small communities, and we think this program will help storekeepers and communities alike.

Better Post Offices
The local Post Office can play a critical role in the vitality of community centers. In partnership with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation, we published a handbook for local officials and residents on how to encourage the Postal Service to develop better designed post offices in our community centers. Check out “Local Official’s Guide to Developing Better Community Post Offices.”

Grand Isle Lake House
Part of why we decided to take on the Grand Isle Lake House project was that we hoped we could use this great venue for nonprofit training and education. In fact, our Board members hoped it would be our version of a nonprofit "dacha"- a place for renewal and re-energizing people active in the nonprofit sector. It works! Over 50 nonprofits benefited from time spent at the Lake House this year. Maybe the best example is our own use of the Lake House. We bring together people who represent several preservation projects to share their experiences. They mentor each other, and see that they are part of the process of building better communities and helping to protect the character of Vermont.

Award Winners
This year, the Equinox Hotel and Resort helped us recognize eight organizations and communities who achieved great success, often in enormously challenging circumstances. The recipients exemplify the hard work that is going on in every corner of Vermont.

2001 Preservation Grants:
Partnership of the Freeman Foundation and Preservation Trust

Berkshire Town Hall
Bethel-Lympus Church, Bethel
First Congregational Church, Brookfield
Old West Church, Calais
Thorp Barn, Charlotte
Congregational Church, Danby
Dover Historical Society Museum
St. John's Church, East Poultney
Hartland Four Corners Universalist Church
Cambridge Historical Society, Jeffersonville
Halifax Community Club
G.R.A.C.E., Hardwick
Barstow Memorial School, Killington/Chittenden
Old Town Theater, Middlebury
Tenney Memorial Library, Newbury
Goodrich Library & Colonial Bldg., Newport
Historical Society, Peacham
Manwell-Baker Block, Plainfield
Peabody Library, Post Mills
Sweat-Comings Complex, Richford
Royalton Historical Society & Congregational Church
Union Congregational Church, Roxbury
Fern Hill Cottage, Rutland
Shard Villa, Salisbury
Dean Hale Block, St. Johnsbury
Stowe Community Church
United Methodist Church, Vergennes
Railroad Depot, Waterbury
Vermont Carving Studio, West Rutland
Engine 494 Pavilion, White River Junction

2001 Grants by the Preservation Trust's Robert Sincerbeaux Fund
Masonic Lodge/Old Town Hall, Alburg
Barnard Village School, Barnard
Ben Threshers Mill, Barnet
First Universalist Church, Barre
Memorial Building Theater, Barton
Masonic Lodge, Bennington
Berkshire town Hall, Berkshire
Stephen Douglas House, Brandon
Holton House, Brattleboro
Fire House, Burlington
Captain White House, Burlington
Burlington Intervale Assoc.
Howard Chapel, Burlington
Old Brick Church, Clarendon
East Barnard Church
East Braintree Church
Fair Haven Library
Fairfield Common School
Caspian Area School, Greensboro
Hardwick Historical Society, Train Depot
Isle LaMotte United Methodist Church
Ludlow Baptist Church
Ludlow United Church
Lyndon Historical Society: Shores Museum, District 6 Schoolhouse, Town House
Burr & Burton Headmaster House, Manchester
Jacob Davis house, Montpelier
Moretown Library
Morgan United Churches
Park McCullough House, North Bennington
North Pomfret Congregational Church
Peru New Town Green, Bromley House Site
Peru Cheese Factory
Randolph Center Schoolhouse
Randolph Center Congregational Church
Wheeler Block, Richford
Pierce House, Rochester
State Fairgrounds, Rutland
Knight Opera House, South Royalton
Community Cafe Assoc. Inc., South Strafford
Dean Hale Block, St. Johnsbury
First Baptist Church, Starksboro
Free Will Baptist Church, Sutton
Vergennes Congregational Church
Waterbury Center Community Church
Lower Waterford Congregational Church
Waterville Town Hall
West Fairlee Congregational Church
Rutland West Neighborhood Housing, W. Rutland
Vermont Carving Studio, W. Rutland
Williamstown Historical Society
Memorial Hall Center for the Arts, Wilmington
Coley Block & Pettes Journal Blocks, Windsor
Vermont Museum & Gallery Alliance, Theater Curtains Project

2001 Preservation Awards Recipients
Barre Historical Society
East Braintree Congregational Church
Housing Vermont for the Exner Block, Bellows Falls
Duncan & Meg Keir and the Huntington Selectboard
Lamoille Housing Partnership
Paramount Theater, Rutland
City of St. Albans
Vermont Youth Orchestra