Concord projects earn N.H. Preservation Alliance awards

  • Workers secure part of the scaffolding that was going up around the State House dome in April 2016 as the repair project began. (GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

  • Workers secure part of the scaffolding that was going up around the State House dome in April 2016 as the repair project began. (GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

  • ABOVE: The State House dome is seen in Concord on Nov. 18 as the restoration project nears completion. Photos by ELIZABETH FRANTZ Monitor file

  • RIGHT: Downtown Concord is seen from Main Street on Oct. 26 during the final stages of a revitalization project.

Monitor staff
Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Two high-profile public projects that wrapped up in Concord last year – the Main Street reconstruction and State House dome regilding – won awards from a statewide preservation nonprofit Tuesday.

The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance also named the Canterbury Shaker Village and Northwood Congregational Church among its 10 winners.

“These are the kinds of places we can’t imagine New Hampshire without, and we want to recognize the people who have worked to save and revive these landmarks,” Executive Director Jennifer Goodman said in a statement.

The preservation alliance has bestowed these achievement awards annually for 28 years.

The Main Street Project was commended for its materials and designs “that harkened back to various eras in downtown Concord’s history,” the statement said.

“Some of those symbolic, yet functional, designs include: the granite pavers in the center lane, which reflect both early paving material and recall the former streetcar track; re-introducing brick and granite curbing first used in 1867; adding street lights based on designs from the 1920s; planting street trees in numbers not seen since the mid-nineteenth century; and accent lighting the 1892 Memorial Arch and 1983 Iron Arch,” Goodman said.

For the State House dome, contest judges noted the difficulties of completing the restoration in a single season and developing a scaffolding system that doesn’t rely on the roof for support, calling it “one of the state’s most complex and delicate engineering projects.”

“The result of this multi-million dollar restoration is stunning, from the smallest details to the re-gilding of the eagle,” Goodman said. “It was a monumental task for a monumental building and it promises to delight generations to come.”

At the Canterbury Shaker Village, the renovation of the trustees’ office was the last major rehabilitation of a campaign that started nearly 30 years ago, the preservation alliance said. While completely updating the building’s facilities, the project maintained its tin ceilings, linoleum floors and wallpaper on the interior while repairing the slate roof, twin porches, windows and trim outside.

“Today, the building is open for the first time since 2001, and includes an apartment for the farm manager, office space for four departments, and a new exhibit about the post office and how the Shakers interacted with the outside world,” Goodman said.

The 1840 Northwood Congregational Church underwent significant repairs from its foundation to its Doric columns. The work restored a conspicuous church that the preservation alliance said is considered to be “one of the finest surviving examples of simplified Greek Revival church architecture in Northern New England.”

“Before the project began a banner hung from the columns that read, ‘Don’t judge a church by its outside,’ ” Goodman said. “The congregation now welcomes not only your judging eyes as you pass by on Route 4, but they extend a genuinely warm welcome to any and all to step inside.”

Six other entities also received awards Tuesday at the Concord City Auditorium. They were:

The Effingham Preservation Society for rehabilitation of the Weare Drake Store building in Effingham

Jeff and Sarah Barrette for the revitalization of the Monadnock Mills Boarding House and Store House No. 5 in Claremont

Karen Bouffard for rehabilitation of 100-2 State St. in Portsmouth

David Adams of Portsmouth for his contributions to the field of historic preservation

The Manchester Historical Association for historic preservation education and outreach

The town of Stratham for preservation of the Lane Homestead