The 18th Annual Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference
When Tropical Storm Irene forced unwelcome change on Vermonters and our towns last spring, we did not shy away from the opportunity to prove our strength as communities. We did not retreat from hardship, but instead resolved together to move forward and improve.
A year later, the 18th annual Historic Preservation and Downtown Conference honors the spirit of resiliency in the people and places of Vermont. We recognize community organization and altruism and explore the ingenuity of historic adaptation to help downtowns survive. We also celebrate community and heroes as we pay tribute to this year’s Preservation Award winners in Wilmington’s Memorial Hall.
We chose Wilmington as our host community because its courage to recover in the wake of Irene’s devastation demonstrated the tremendous fortitude of its residents and businesses. They have unfailingly supported their historic heritage and given strength back to their community.
This conference builds on such success stories, providing the ideas and tools to inspire resiliency in our own preservation efforts.
- Scott Murphy
- Paul Bruhn
Preservation Trust of Vermont
- Noelle MacKay
Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development
10:15 Thanks, Irene: How We’re Rediscovering the Essence of Vermont.
President & CEO, The Vermont Community Foundation
The Vermont Community Foundation was established in 1986 with a mission to grow philanthropy in the state and ensure that donors and nonprofits have the resources they need to be effective. Following Tropical Storm Irene, the Community Foundation was one of many organizations in the state working on recovery efforts. The stories collected from this challenging time give a human face to the essence of Vermont.
11:00 Preservation Trust of Vermont Preservation Awards
The 2012 Preservation Awards celebrate outstanding contributions in the field of historic preservation. Join us in recognizing individuals and organizations that have been instrumental to the preservation of Vermont’s historic places.
12:00 Governor Peter Shumlin
12:15-1:30 Lunch on Your Own in Wilmington
1:30 Concurrent Afternoon Sessions
(A1) Downtown Vermont: Why Main Street Still Matters
Jan Albers, PhD.While most Americans live in cities and suburbs, Vermont is still largely a place of towns, villages, and countryside. Compact town centers, ringed by fields and forests give the state much of its distinctive appearance. The cycles of prosperity and poverty that left this landscape legacy continue to offer both threats and promises today. This session will consider whether small town life can provide a model for a sustainable Vermont future and will ask, “Does Main Street still matter?”
(B1) Preservation In Pink (Flamingos): How Historic Preservation Involves YOU
Kaitlin O’Shea-Healy, Vermont Agency of TransportationPreservation in Pink is a blog dedicated to encouraging communication between historic preservation professionals and academics, grassroots preservationists, and “non-preservationists.” In this session, Kaitlin O’Shea-Healy, author of Preservation in Pink, will present the personal side of preservation. Connecting our everyday life, pink flamingos, coffee, and travel to historic preservation, she relates the field as approachable, applicable and amusing. Community members and professionals alike will benefit by hearing and talking about preservation in a refreshing, lighthearted way.
(C1) What’s a Tax Credit?
Chris Cochran, Vermont Downtown ProgramDo you have a downtown or village center commercial building that needs help? Was your building damaged by the 2011 floods? Do you need an elevator or sprinkler system installed to use the upper floors? Tax credits may be the answer. Federal and state rehabilitation tax credits have stimulated private investment, repaired old buildings, and breathed new life into many of Vermont’s Designated Downtowns and Village Centers. Join Chris Cochran for a lively, how-to presentation on tax credits — including the state’s new disaster relief credits — and learn how to harness these programs to recover, rebuild and revitalize buildings and your community.
(D1) Recycling Old Buildings
Joseph Cincotta, AIA-LEED, NCARB, and DAD
Join a discussion about the tension between historic preservation and energy-saving retrofits and share examples of how the reconciliation of these interests is bringing new life to beautiful old buildings. This workshop will be hosted at the LineSync Architecture studio built from an historic barn, and now a contemporary and creative work-space.
2:45 Concurrent Afternoon Sessions
Before and after photos of major downtown streetscape and road improvements are dramatic. Once completed, these types of projects can boost pride and enhance economic development. The trick is, how do businesses survive the big dig?
The We Dig Barre committee, a subcommittee of the Barre Partnership, has developed some proven strategies to overcome the stress and distress of construction, noise, and parking issues. They plan to help businesses flourish through the construction. Come learn about their tool kit to go beyond survival and actually build enthusiasm and customer loyalty while downtown Barre is under construction.
(B2) The Place is the Hero: Celebrations of Community Identity in the Early 20th Century
David Glassberg, Department of History, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Vermont towns make claims to local distinctiveness even as they participate in national and international networks of economy, society, and culture. This session explores the many manifestations of this phenomenon a century ago in local historic preservation activities, memorials, and civic celebrations and offers a useful perspective from which to view these activities today.
(C2) Arts and Economy
Robert McBride, Executive Director, Rockingham Arts and Museum Project;
Sara Coffey, Founder/Director, Vermont Performance Lab;
Dale Doucette, Lighting and Set Designer, Producer, and Special Consultant to Memorial Hall
Wilmington is very fortunate to have Memorial Hall, a downtown arts performance venue. The arts are a viable development tool for a town or region, whether hosted in a formal space or unlikely venue. This panel, led by Robert McBride, will speak to the role of the arts in a community’s economy.
(D2) Achieving Resilience in the Restoration of Existing Buildings
Alex Wilson, Founder, BuildingGreen, Inc.; Executive Editor, Environmental Building News
Buildings need to function in the new reality of more intense storms, extreme flooding, heat waves, power outages, and wild fluctuations in fuel costs. This presentation will address how to make buildings and communities more resilient in the face of these vulnerabilities. Resilience involves not only surviving the storm, but also maintaining livability in the aftermath of the event.
4:00 Post Conference Celebration with Candlestick Bowling, Miniature Golf and a Cookout at North Star Bowling
Parking is limited in Wilmington and we want to encourage everyone to carpool with people from your community. Arrangements can be made through Go Vermont, a resource of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, to connect commuters who want to reduce the cost and environmental impact of driving. Click on the “Get Started Tab” on the Go Vermont website.
Our conference locations are handicapped accessible. If you have special accessibility concerns, please contact us directly so we are able to best address your needs. email@example.com or 802-658-6647.
- The Preservation Trust of Vermont;
- The Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and
- The Vermont Downtown Program through the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development;
- Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
- Certified Local Government (CLG) Program and the Rockingham CLG
- Merchants Bank
- Vermont Agency of Transportation
- Arnold & Scangas Architects
- Gordon’s Window Decor
- AIA Vermont, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects
- The Town of Wilmington
AIA Learning Units for Architects, and Relicensure Credits for teachers are available.
This conference is being presented with the assistance of a matching grant from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation through the U.S. Department of the Interior, Certified Local Government Program under provisions of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Regulations of the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age or handicap in its federally assisted programs. Any person who believes he or she has been discriminated against in any program activity, or facility operated by a recipient of federal assistance should write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, DC 20240.