PTV Highlights: 2007

The Preservation Trust of Vermont was founded in 1980 to initiate and assist community and statewide efforts to preserve and use Vermont's rich collection of historic, architectural, and cultural resources. A primary focus is on downtown and village center vitality.

The Preservation Trust works primarily by building capacity at the local level by providing technical assistance, encouragement, and grant support. On a statewide level, the Trust and partners lobby for legislation that protects and strengthens downtowns, village centers, and the Vermont character. In 2007, our lobbying partnership with Smart Growth Vermont resulted in increased tax credits for property owners making improvements to their Designated Downtown and Village Center buildings.

To sum it up…the Preservation Trust, working in partnership with hundreds of local groups, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, several statewide nonprofits, local businesses, and generous donors, is helping to keep Vermont its own place while strengthening a local economy and sense of community.

Our map of Where We Worked in 2007 (printed version available upon request, tallies over 300 community projects where we provided technical assistance, seed grants, financial help to fight big box sprawl development, and grant support in partnership with our funders. Each project represents a great story about what a local group is doing to save and use an historic building or strengthen their community. Here are some of the ways that we helped:

Field Service Program
December 2007 marked the 10th anniversary of the Field Service Program in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Today, three part-time Field Service Representatives work with local organizations across the state. In 2007 they supported 305 projects in 158 different communities, providing technical assistance, encouragement, and seed grant support through the Robert Sincerbeaux Fund. In addition, they provided technical assistance for the repair of 52 barns in 36 towns.

Throughout our history, the Preservation Trust has used grant-making as a key tool to stimulate and support local preservation efforts.

  • Robert Sincerbeaux Fund—in honor of the Preservation Trust’s first benefactor, this fund provides seed grants to community organizations. Last year the Preservation Trust awarded 65 Robert Sincerbeaux Fund grants to local projects.
  • Barn Grants—with funding from the Gannett Foundation and the Burlington Free Press, 12 barn owners received grants for condition assessments.
  • Preservation Grants—since 1994, the Preservation Trust has partnered with the Freeman Foundation to provide over $9.6 million in bricks-and-mortar grants to 383 projects, resulting in over $100 million of preservation activity. Last year over $500,000 was awarded to 16 projects around the state.
  • Community Fund Grants—with funding from an anonymous donor, the Preservation Trust committed $90,000 to support a variety of projects around the state including anti-sprawl efforts, the development of a village store in Starksboro, start-up of Local First Vermont, and New Dollars New Partners training program for churches offered by Partners for Sacred Places.

Downtowns and Village Centers
The Preservation Trust focuses much of its work on strengthening downtowns and village centers while curbing commercial sprawl. This past legislative session, the Trust worked with Smart Growth Vermont to expand tax incentives for downtown and village center revitalization. At the same time, we fought against inappropriate out-of-town big-box development that zaps downtown vitality. In 2007, the Trust worked with Vermont Natural Resources Council and local citizens groups in Bennington , St. Albans , Middlebury, and Newport-Derby to oppose mega-sized big boxes proposed in those communities. Through a very generous donation, the Trust established a revolving fund to help combat threats to community centers. At the same time, we continue to work hard trying to convince large scale retailers to build smaller scale stores in our downtowns rather than on the edge of towns.

Easement Program
In 2007, two protective easements were added; the Preservation Trust now holds 46 easements on 77 buildings, structures, and archeological sites. The vast majority of the sites are protected through a partnership with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. The newest addition is the Mad River Glen Single Chair Lift. The single chair is important in the early development of the ski industry in Vermont . Mad River Glen’s is the last remaining single chair lift in its original location in the U.S! To protect this unique resource, the Preservation Trust worked with the Friends of the Single Chair to raise $1.23 million to help rehabilitate the lift for continued use.

Educational Programs
The Preservation Trust’s electronic newsletter and web-site provide current news about preservation projects, advocacy initiatives, grant opportunities and new publications. In May, the Preservation Trust and the Division for Historic Preservation hosted the 13th annual Preservation Conference in Montpelier with over 200 people in attendance. At the conference, they honored eight Preservation Award Recipients. On a smaller scale, the Trust hosted six Grand Isle Lake House Retreats serving over 60 community organizations from around the state, thanks to funding from the Claneil Foundation and Dwight Asset Management. The two-day retreats are an opportunity to share ideas and learn about resources to help community projects. One of the best expressed outcomes, though, is the feeling that you’re not alone—others across the State are doing similar kinds of projects and succeeding!

Grand Isle Lake House
Concerts and public activities were expanded at the Lake House . Besides the Preservation Trust retreats, a number of other non-profit organizations used the site for training and retreats. The historic hotel not only provides a face for the Preservation Trust, it also is an ongoing rehabilitation project. We are very grateful to the many individuals and organizations that have supported work at the Lake House . This year the 1772 Foundation awarded a $40,000 grant to help with structural repairs. Fundraising continues to complete repairs to the wrap-around porch.

The Preservation Trust provides encouragement, technical support and financial resources to communities and local organizations; but in the end we depend upon local commitment, leadership and passion to get this important work done. We are grateful to individual donors, businesses, and foundations that made this year’s astonishing collection of work possible!

Preservation Grants in Partnership with the Freeman Foundation
Bennington , Sacred Heart St. Francis de Sales Church
Clarendon Grange Community Center
Greensboro Free Library
Guildhall, Guild Hall
Guildhall Library and Masonic Hall
Ludlow Town Hall
Manchester Congregational Church
Middlebury, John Warren House – Vermont Folklife Museum
Mount Holly Community Historical Museum
Proctorsville, Pollard Block
Shaftsbury, Robert Frost House
South Walden, Hope Community Church
West Brattleboro , Goodenough Farmstead
Weston Crafts Building
Weston Old Parish Church
Windsor, St. Paul ’s Episcopal Church

Robert Sincerbeaux Fund Grants
Addison, Lake Champlain Bridge NR Nomination
Bennington Municipal Building
Bradford Public Library
Brattleboro , Center Congregational Church
Bristol , Holly Hall
Burlington , AGR Fraternity
Burlington , First Unitarian Universalist Church
Cabot, Willey Building
Clarendon Grange Community Center
Colchester , Fort Ethan Allen Officers’ Row
Cornwall , Lavalley Store
Cornwall , Town Hall
Danville , Washburn Lodge
Derby Line, Haskell Library and Opera House
Derby Line, Universalist Church Parsonage – Derby Dabblers
Duxbury Congregational Church
Essex Downtown Block
Gayesville Community Church
Glynwood Barn
Granville Schoolhouse
Greensboro Culvert Study
Greensboro Town Hall
Hardwick, GRACE
Hardwick, Jeudevine Library
Isle LaMotte , Francis Ford Cabin
Jericho Center Congregational Church
Lyndon, First Congregational Church
Monkton, Willowell Foundation
Montgomery Historical Society Pratt Hall
Montpelier , Hubbard Tower
Morristown Centennial Library
Morrisville, Copley Country Club
North Hero Town Hall
Partners for Sacred Places Retreat
Pawlet Masonic Lodge
Peacham Community Housing Fundraising Workshop
Peru , First Congregational Church
Plainfield , Cutler Library
Plainfield , Goddard College
Pomfret Town Offices
Poultney, Trinity Episcopal Church
Pownal, Bartel’s Lodge
Pownal Community Church
Putney United Church
Richmond Area Business Association
Ripton Methodist Church
Roxbury Union Congregational Church
Rutland Chaffee Center for the Arts
Rutland, College of St. Joseph
Salisbury Old Town Hall Library and Historical Society
St. Johnsbury Railroad Heritage Society
Shelburne, Historic Preservation
Commissioner Training
Stowe Land Trust
Vermont Council on Rural Development
Creative Economy Conference
Vermont Division for Historic Preservation
Preserve America Application
Vermont Forum on Sprawl, Smart Growth
Vermont Historical Society Expo 2007
Vershire Town Center
Warren Public Library
Wells, St. Paul’s Church and Adams’ House
West Haven Baptist Church
West Topsham, New Hope United Methodist Church
White River Junction, St. Anthony’s Church
Williamstown United Federated Church

Barn Condition Assessment Grants in Partnership with the Burlington Free Press
Bennington, Lyon Barn
Bristol, Osmun Barn
Charlotte, Binkhorst Barn
Coventry, Sousa Barn
East Burke, Samet Barn
Guilford, Vermont Performance Lab
Hyde Park, Brook Valley Farm
Marshfield, Wellspring Farm
Newfane, Mantel Barn
Norwich, Witschi Barn
South Strafford, Reimanis Barn
Sudbury, Phelps/Jenks-Jay Barn

Community Fund Grants
Bellows Falls, Hotel Windham
Creative Eco-Tours
Hardwick Restaurant
Local First Vermont
Montpelier Downtown Association, Downtown Market Analysis
Nature Conservancy Galick Farms
Partners for Sacred Places Training
Readsboro Village Revitalization
Starksboro Country Store
Vermont Downtown Program
Vermont Future Second Homeowner Research
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
Waitsfield, Turner Barn Project

Façade Easement and Covenant Added in 2007
Hotel Windham, Bellows Falls
Mad River Glen Single Chair

2007 Preservation Awards Recipients

  • Brattleboro Area Community Land Trust and Housing Vermont for their rescue of the downtown Brattleboro Wilder Block following a devastating fire
  • Jim and Lorraine Impey for their preservation work in St. Johnsbury
  • Ludlow Town Hall Restoration Committee for the rehabilitation of the Town Hall and its upstairs auditorium for meetings, concerts, plays, school assemblies, and community gatherings
  • Mount Holly Barn Preservation Association for their work to survey, educate, and raise funds to save historic barns
  • Revitalizing Waterbury for the rehabilitation and reuse of the Waterbury Railroad Station
  • Vermont Housing and Conservation Board on their 20th anniversary
  • Vermont Humanities Council for the rehabilitation and reuse of the 1873 George Scott residence in downtown Montpelier
  • Senator James Jeffords for his tireless efforts on behalf of Vermont’s Historic Places!