Concord, Boscawen buildings make preservation list
The Concord gasholder house was damaged in a recent storm when a tree fell on the roof of the nineteenth century structure. Photographed on Tuesday, July 2, 2013.
ALEXANDER COHN /File photo
A backyard view of the Kimball-Jenkins mansion on Friday, February 5, 2010. The mansion was completed in 1883, and houses the Jill Coldren-Wilson Gallery.
(Concord Monitor photo/Katie Barnes)
Two Concord buildings, a library in Boscawen and a castle in Gilford were chosen by the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance last night as four of seven endangered historic buildings it considers worth saving this year.
The “Seven to Save” list includes the Kimball-Jenkins Estate, the circular gasholder building in Concord and Boscawen’s Old Public Library. The alliance chooses properties if they have historic or architectural significance and could use the “Seven to Save” distinction to boost fundraising.
Also added to the list last night was the Kimball Castle in Gilford, Sanborn Seminary in Kingston, The Durham Pool at the University of New Hampshire and several grange halls.
The Alliance said it chose the Kimball-Jenkins Estate, which is home to an art school, because it has struggled for 30 years to honor the last owner’s request that it serve the creative needs of the city.
The estate, which is also used for weddings, has faced financial problems, and more recently, flooding from Interstate 393, which runs alongside the grounds. During heavy rainstorms, the water rushes over I-393 onto the Kimball-Jenkins Estate.
The gasholder building, a circular brick building at the south end of Main Street, is a relic of the gas-lighting age, the alliance said. It is reportedly the only enclosed gasholder in the country with its floating iron tank intact. It hasn’t been used since 1952 and is owned by Liberty Utilities.
The building was badly damaged this past summer when a tree fell on it, and the utility company is facing “hard choices about maintaining an obsolete facility,” the alliance said.
The Old Public Library in Boscawen was designed by Boston architect Guy Lowell, who also designed the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the New Hampshire Historical Society building.
The 1913 library has been vacant since 2006 when the town’s new library opened. The town is hoping to raise enough money to reopen the library for another public use.
The Kimball Castle in Gilford was built in 1899 as a summer home by Benjamin Kimball, a prosperous railroad executive and Concord resident. The castle is close to ruin and is up for sale.
Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the preservation alliance, said in a written statement that 49 properties have been named to the annual Seven to Save list since it began in 2006. More than half of them are now out of danger and “saved,” she said.
(Annmarie Timmins can be reached at 369-3323, firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @annmarietimmins.)