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Preservation Trust of Vermont
From Liz Gamache
Serving as Interim President at the Preservation Trust of Vermont as we enter our 40th year has been both humbling and inspiring.

One of the highlights of this work is visiting Vermont towns, and meeting with people who love their communities and are dedicated to preserving what makes them so special. I've come to realize that our Vermont-style approach to historic preservation is unique, and that PTV is admired as a national leader, because of the way we approach our work.

It truly is about both saving buildings and building community. The two go hand-in-hand. Whether it is in a general store, community center, church or commercial building, PTV's work is about gathering and empowering a community to find the resources and confidence to get the job done. In the process, the community becomes stronger than it was before it started. 

The Paul A. Bruhn Fund

PTV's board of directors is pleased to announce the Paul A. Bruhn Fund to preserve the essential character of Vermont. 
The Bruhn Fund honors Paul Bruhn (1947-2019) who led PTV with distinction for nearly 40 years as its only Executive Director, and later, President. The board recognizes that no person has done more than Paul to preserve the essential character of Vermont through its cities, towns, villages and landscape in those many years, and that Paul empowered and motivated Vermont citizens to take action to save and protect the built environment, town and village centers, gathering places, institutions and landscape that make Vermont unique among States.

Highlights from the Field
PTV takes great pride in helping community preservation projects get started on the right path. Below is a handful of exciting and just-getting-going projects our Field Rep Alex Tolstoi has been facilitating around the state since the beginning of January.

Ferrisburgh Union Meeting Hall
After several years of sitting vacant, this 1840 Gothic Revival meeting house in the heart of Ferrisburgh is getting a second wind. Community members envision the space as a home for local theater productions, yoga classes, independent movie screenings, and other community uses. The newly formed Friends of the Union Meeting Hall is currently raising money for structural repairs to the roof, increasing accessibility, and other restoration efforts.
The Barns in Bridport 
Just a few hundred yards from the shore of Lake Champlain, Chip Morgan and Maria Slattery's barns are a mixture of conventional and adaptive uses. They are interested in restoring the cow barn so it can yet again house livestock and expanding the studio space in the carriage barn which is the current home of 102.9 FM Farm Fresh Radio. Huntington timber framer Miles Jenness of Vermont Heavy Timber is currently conducting a condition assessment of the barns as part of PTV's Barn Grant Program.

Elmore General Store
After several decades behind the counter, the owners of the Elmore General Store are retiring. Fearing the potential loss of the economic, social, and gastric heart of this lakeside community, a group of concerned citizens has stepped up to take over the General Store and Post Office as a Community Supported Enterprise. The Elmore Community Trust is currently raising funds to acquire the beloved building, so it can continue to serve the community. Show your support by stopping in for a slice of pizza and take in the view across beautiful Lake Elmore!

Pratt Hall, Montgomery
Do not let this town's small size fool you, this community cares about preserving their historic buildings. The Montgomery Historical Society continues to be an excellent steward of the 1835 Church located on VT-118. With a long history of fundraising, planning community activities, and preserving the c. 1870 Gothic Revival details of the iconic Pratt Hall, the Historical Society is applying for a grant funding to repaint the building.

Preservation & Downtown Conference: Thursday June 4, 2020
Strafford, VT

Save the date for our 2020 Conference focusing on rural preservation! 

The Opening Plenary/Town Hall style session will take place at the historic Town House on the Green.  Lunch will be prepared by the town fire department. Sessions will be held at The United Church of Strafford and the Justin Morrill Education Center. The Historical Society in Strafford is very active and will offer guided tours of the area.

More information about the keynote, sessions and registration coming soon. 

Look closely. Do you see the word "Caroline" in the brick?
Found in the Field

I think a lot about handwriting. I think about how in our day and age of digital communication, we won't have the opportunity to recognize someone by the way they write the letter "C". I think of how when I find a note written to me by my grandmother, who died when I was 25, my heart swells. I see her and hear her and remember the way her house smelled. 

When I saw this brick, I thought about the human hands that made it, that made all of these bricks and I wondered....who is Caroline? Was she a brick maker? Was she the brick maker's true love? Or mother? Or sister? Or daughter? Did the person who wrote this ever imagine that someone in the year 2020 would say her name, "Caroline", in the very meeting house where this brick was laid? 

There should be a patron saint of handwriting, who casts their blessings on all those who write on the school desk, put names on bricks, carve initials onto trees. May these intimate gestures continue to exist, to inspire the imagination and ignite memory.

By Lisa Ryan, Field Service Representative, who found the brick in Strafford, VT when looking for a place to host our annual conference.

The Making of "Whale Dance"
The conservation of Exit 4 in Randolph was a huge triumph for PTV, VNRC and the citizens of Randolph. When PTV learned that an anonymous donor was interested in commissioning a new whales' tail sculpture, PTV's late President Paul Bruhn called it "the cherry on top." Click here to watch a short film produced by PTV that tells the whole story....

The film was crafted by Meg Campbell, Easement Program Director, who has made more than 50 short films for PTV. She says this film is significant because it tells the story of a project that was very important to Paul, and the last time she captured his voice on camera. So stop by Whale Dance and take a moment to experience this beautiful space. Paul would like that.
2020 Preservation Retreats at the Grand Isle Lake House

For those of you eager to reserve space at our 2020 Preservation Retreats, registration is now open! 

Here's the upcoming schedule:
  • May 18-19: Fundraising and Project Management
  • June 22-23: Churches and Sacred Places
  • July 14-15: Historic Preservation & Community Development
  • September 21-22: Arts & Cultural Heritage
  • October 12-13: Libraries, Nonprofit Owned & Public Buildings

Thank you for an amazing 24 hours at the Lake House!  This was my second retreat, and this one was especially informative.  Having PTV staff all along with the folks from the Division of Historic Preservation and Community Development Program, the Institute for Independent Living, and the Vermont Arts Council respond in the room and help brainstorm solutions not only helped to take the intimidation factor out of the process, but hearing their expertise and enthusiasm was so encouraging to me as we face a big preservation project in my home community.  It made it all seem do-able and the right thing to do! 
-- Sara Coffey, Guilford, VT

Welcome Isla!

PTV Field Representative Jenna Lapachinski and her husband Bryon Keiser welcomed their new baby daughter Isla Mae Keiser on January 16. They are all healthy and getting adjusted to their new family life. 

Preservation Trust of Vermont
104 Church Street
Burlington, VT  05401