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2017: The Year in Review

You might not drive as much as I do in Vermont, but I am betting that each time you pass Exit 4 on Interstate 89 in Randolph you have to slow down and enjoy the incredible view of our mountains and fields.  It is a place that shouts “Vermont!”

Last spring, after years of work to avoid development at that spot, we got a chance to buy and protect that land….and therefore the views, the agriculture, and the sense of space and peace.  It took the very hard work of several organizations and their volunteers, and a fast-paced million-dollar campaign completed by the Preservation Trust of Vermont. In two months we raised $1 million, and completed the deal with the owners, in partnership with CLF, VNRC, the Castanea Foundation and the local group called Exit Four Open Space.  Success! That land is protected from development forever!

You might ask: what does this have to do with the Preservation Trust?

Yes, we are about history and buildings … but more than anything else we are about community, village centers, and downtowns.  And we knew that massive development at Exit 4 would do even more damage to the nearby downtown than it would to the view. We know that community needs a downtown, and a sense of community is the real bottom line in making Vermont what we love.

If you take a look at our Map of Where We Worked, you’ll see that Exit 4 was just one project among hundreds undertaken by the Preservation Trust this year. We work collaboratively with local groups to help make community sustainable and vital, whatever it takes. Your community has probably benefited from our help, and will again when you need us.

We are able to do this because you stick with us through thick and thin, and we are enormously grateful. Please give now so we can be right where you need us when the time comes. 

Thank you for your partnership and support!


Paul Bruhn
Executive Director

2017 What We Do

The Hartland Recreation Center
We provided a a small grant to help them prioritize repairs that are needed to the building including the slate roof, front steps and foundation repairs, as well as siding and window restoration. The kids on the steps are part of the daycare housed in the building. This was one of 39 Robert Sincerbeaux Fund Grants for project development and technical assistance awarded in 2017.
The Strafford Town Offices
After attending one of the Preservation Retreats at the Grand Isle Lake House, Kate Shipman invited our field service staff and partner Caitlin Corkins at the Division for Historic Preservation for a visit. We explored options for reconfiguring the interior space of the town offices to make it more ADA accessible while also retaining as much historic fabric as possible. We offered suggestions about how to approach design, where to look for funding and what might be good solutions to maintain the historic facade. This is one of 204 local preservation efforts supported through our Field Service Program in 2017.
Barn Owners Across the State
We’ve provided technical assistance to 10 owners of historic barns and condition assessments through our Barn Assessment Grant Program. Pictured above are Howard Krum from Woodstock and Seth Kelley from Knobb Hill Joinery looking at the barn at Gilbert’s Hill. These grants are an essential starting point for saving old barns.
The Barnard General Store and other At-Risk Properties
This is one of 4 projects we supported in 2017 through our Historic Places Revolving FundThis year the revolving fund focused on the Pierce Block in Barton, Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor, Barnard General Store in Barnard, and Fox Hill in Poultney.
The St. Johnsbury Academy
Through our partnership with the Freeman Foundation we provided $50,000 for the rehabiliation of Brantview, a Lambert Packard-designed dormitory in need of major upgrades and a new roof. Not only will students live in the completed space, but students involved in the technical education programs will also be afforded opportunities to participate in a range of conservation related projects in the project, including fine art, woodwork restoration, ornamental plastering and painting, and historic glass and metal work. This is one of six major Preservation Grants we provided in 2017 through our partnership with the Freeman Foundation.
The Citizens of Randolph, VT
We work with partners and citizens like Randolph residents Irene Schaefer and Malcolm FiztPatrick (left) to oppose Sprawl and encourage the proper scale and location of Big Box development in our downtowns. In addition to critical efforts at Exit 4 in Randolph, we worked with four other communities in 2017.
Preservation Retreat Attendees
At our two-day Preservation Retreats, funders and peers provide information, ideas, support and encouragement to help people and their projects make the next move. Joan Gamble pictured here from the Rutland Free Library is one of 134 other individuals representing 55 community groups who attended a 2017 Preservation Retreat at the Grand Isle Lake House. 
The Putney General Store
We continued to assist with project support for this and nine other Community Supported Enterprises such as village stores, cooperatives, restaurants, and community-centered businesses we feel are essential to building Vermont’s vibrancy.
The Goodenough Farmstead Trust of Brattleboro, VT
This year we negotiated a long-term lease between the Elijah Zimmer and GFT; in exchange for expert rehab, the Elijah can occupy the late 18th century house. The Goodenough House and Barn are among 112 historic buildings, 2 structures and 3 archeological sites protected by our Historic Preservation Easement Program.
Participants in the Downtown & Historic Preservation Conference in White River Junction, VT
Faith Ingulsrud (from the Vermont Department of Community Planning and Revitalization) and Joshua Schwartz (Planning Director for the Mad River Valley) were among the more than 250 people who attended the annual Downtown and Historic Preservation Conference co-hosted in partnership with the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the Vermont Downtown Program. Stay tuned for more information about the June 8, 2018 Conference in Bristol!
Visitors to the Grand Isle Lake House
The Grand Isle Lake House is one of four historic properties owned and lovingly stewarded by PTV.  Others include Pierce’s Store in Shrewsbury, the Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor, and Fox Hill in Poultney.
The Vermont Story Lab
The Vermont Story Lab is a network of non-profit partners and individuals aimed at exploring and supporting storytelling for change. More than 200 people have participated in the Regional Labs and the Statewide Summit. PTV is leading the effort in partnership with seven other Vermont organizations and entities.
Vermont's Downtowns & Village Centers
For years PTV has worked in conjunction with the Vermont Downtown Program to support revitalization efforts in designated downtowns and village centers. In 2017 we co-hosted the annual retreat for 15 Designated Downtowns and their managers. 
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