The Preservation Trust of Vermont is pleased to announce the recipients of the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants to activate and reuse historic structures. A total of $625,000 has been awarded to nine rural community projects in Addison, Athens, Bridgewater, East Calais, Elmore, Hyde Park, Montgomery, Randolph, and Vernon. The grants range from $50,000 to $100,000 and will be used for restoration and repairs of windows, facades, foundations, interior spaces and roofs.
The Preservation Trust received applications totaling over $2.5 million in requests. “The applications represented an amazing array of projects including arts spaces, community centers, village stores, and more. It was tough to choose among so many great projects. Ultimately, we selected the ones that best meet the goals of spurring new economic activity in village centers and downtowns and those that bring new life to under-utilized buildings,” said Ben Doyle, president of the Preservation Trust.
The Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants, named for PTV’s founding President, Paul Bruhn, was created in partnership with Senator Leahy and the National Park Service to help rural communities throughout the country.
Senator Leahy has been a longtime champion of village revitalization. “The projects that have been funded through the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program represent an incredible opportunity for our village centers, and the Preservation Trust has the expertise to support these groups as they move forward. The funded projects will enhance the vibrancy of rural Vermont by bringing people together, increasing economic activity, and helping communities to be more resilient,” said Leahy.
Projects supported by the Bruhn Historic Revitalization grants include:
- The Addison Town Hall in Addison
- The Athens Meetinghouse in Athens
- The Bridgewater Community Center in Bridgewater
- The East Calais General Store in East Calais
- The Elmore General Store in Elmore
- The Gihon Valley Hall in Hyde Park
- The Montgomery Center for the Arts in Montgomery
- The Chandler Center for the Arts in Randolph
- The Governor Hunt House in Vernon
Grants will be used for structural repairs, interior renovations, roof replacement, and window and facade restoration. All projects are located in towns with fewer than 7500 people. Each of these projects will preserve and reuse historic gathering spaces, generate economic and civic vitality, and enrich the lives of community members.
The Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program is administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
“In order to preserve the Vermont landscape we love, there has to be a ‘there’ there in village centers. A store with a café and wifi is an important piece of that. With this funding, the East Calais store can continue to provide food to the community, employ locals, offer housing, and most importantly, be a viable and thriving gathering place for residents and visitors of all ages.”
“The Gihon Valley Hall restoration project has given me a way to meet neighbors I might never would have encountered, it’s helped me connect to the wider Hyde Park and Lamoille County community, and it’s been a welcome local project when we’re all trying to stay close to home during the pandemic. Restoring the Gihon Valley Hall will not only create a central gathering hub for the neighborhood but also create another node for community on the north end of the town to complement Hyde Park Village on the south end of town.”
“This project is important for the families here to see the school still standing and utilized. There is a sense of excitement now. The community has rallied around this project. I look at the vision for what we are going to be able to do for the community and it’s exciting. The Bridgewater Community Center will be the heartbeat of the town. We are so grateful.”
“Transforming the Governor Hunt House into a community center will help to make Vernon a more attractive place to live, work and visit, thereby improving the economic environment of the town and continuing its recovery from the severe impacts of the shutdown of Vermont Yankee. The community center will also serve as a focal point for future village development in the area, which will attract new residents and new businesses.”