21 historic preservation projects receive LCHIP funds

Housing efforts among initiatives awarded grants
Seven To Save

Lakes Region Community Developers rook ownership of the historic Gale School building in Belmont last year.

The Land and Community Heritage Investment Program has awarded a total of $4.1 million in funding to 32 recipients, including 21 historic preservation projects, around New Hampshire.

Some of the projects are associated with addressing housing needs, including Lakes Region Community Developers’ Gale School project in Belmont and Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter’s Sacred Heart School project.

Officials pointed out that this year a number of small towns received funding for projects, including the North Country communities of Pittsburg, Stratford, Wentworth, Warren, and Effingham as well as Grafton.

In addition, four recipients will use their grant to study landmark historic resources, including Canterbury Shaker Village, Portsmouth’s North Church and the Tilton Island Bridge in Tilton.

“In these uncertain times, this news is a great boost for communities across the state,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance. “LCHIP grants are matching investments that revive historic landmarks, help protect our sense of community and drive new economic activity.”

According to Goodman, historic preservation activity supports jobs, enhances the tax base and helps spur additional investment, and because of the labor-intensive nature of rehabilitation, more money circulates in local economies than it does with new construction.

She also pointed out that an American Express survey of millennials emphasized the generation’s interest in living and working in places that feature a mix of old and new architecture and community gathering places. In addition, studies show that heritage visitors stay longer and spend more than other types of visitors.

The NHPA itself was a grant recipient, and it will use its $60,000 award to make up to 15 grants to nonprofits and municipalities for historic building assessments, said Goodman.

Such building assessments are tools for groups starting a preservation project or advancing to a new phase. The process brings preservation professionals, architects and engineers together to inspect and document a structure’s construction, evolution, and condition, and make recommendations for repair and reuse, along with cost estimates.

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