It’s a busy week in preservation and for PiP adventures! Following the SIA conference, it’s time to head to another one, only this is much closer to home.
Tomorrow, Friday June 7, 2013, is the annual Vermont Downtown & Historic Preservation conference, to be held this year in Barre, Vermont. It’s not too late to register - do so online or at the morning registration. Come join us in Vermont for local history, master planning, discussions as to why downtowns are important, good keynote speakers & presenters, inspiring preservation awards, and much more! See the full program here.
This is a good place for all preservationists to meet others, to network and to learn! Students are encouraged to come. If you’re in central Vermont and heading to the conference, let me know. Hope to see you there.
Last year’s HP Conference in Wilmington and the 2011 HP Conference in Poultney with write-ups here and here.
On a sunny, warm spring morning, Tuesday May 28, 2013, the Richmond Checkered House Bridge opened to traffic. This 1929 Pennsylvania truss bridge was the first ever widened truss bridge in the country – an incredible feat to maintain historic integrity and to keep this bridge in the transportation network. You can see in the photographs where the bridge has been widened by 10′; this design was chosen so the new can be distinguished from the original.
The ceremony was open to the public and well attended by State officials, those involved with bridge project (engineers, contractors, project managers, historic preservationists), and many community member. Governor Shumlin gave a short speech as well.
In true Vermont bridge opening style, antique cars were the first to drive over after the ribbon cutting. And an antique bicycle joined in the fun. Take a look at some photographs from the opening. Next time you are in Richmond, be sure to drive over our historic rehabilitated truss. It’s a beauty!
A known site in East Bethel, this octagon school is one of a kind. The design was supposed to allow for greater space in a one-room schoolhouse. It has a few additions, but you can clearly see the octagon shape in this image, along with original windows and screens. Peak into the windows and you’ll see a blackboard. Today the building is a library and community center. For a brief history on East Bethel, read this.
To everyone who has served the United State Military in some capacity: thank you. Thank you for our freedom and liberty, and for keeping us safe in the United States of America. Some Memorial Day history (which began as Decoration Day). This marble memorial in Proctor, Vermont is a beautiful tribute to those who fought for us.
2012 PiP: Memorial Day (Calverton National Cemetery).
Sometimes in transportation, our bridges cannot be saved (which can only be said after a Section 4(f) evaluation). Reasons often relate to safety or structural deficiency or loss of integrity, among other items. It’s a complex law and evaluation. Large bridges like the Champlain Bridge are rare projects; often bridge projects are much smaller.
Remember the Newfane Bridge?
Recently I drove through Newfane and saw its replacement. It was a historic bridge located within a historic district. To the public this means that a bridge replacement (if determined to be the only feasible and prudent alternative) will be a context sensitive solution; i.e., compatible with its surroundings.
New bridges will not look like the old bridges due to engineering designs, traffic safety, modern vehicles, modern materials, etc. How do you, as a historic preservationist, or a community member feel about historic bridge replacement?
Bloomfield, VT is a small crossroads on the Connecticut River. Across the bridge is Stratford, NH. The general store is closed and not many houses populate this town. This church sits next to the town offices, the former school. Based on the piles of boxes in the windows, the church is abandoned or sorely neglected and used for storage. This poor thing has seen better days (note the missing steeple). The neighbors’ stuff is piled in the rear and on one side of the building, so I didn’t snap photos of all elevations.
Churches seem to be common abandoned or neglected buildings. What can we do about these? Another topic for another time, perhaps.
Not that we’re halfway through May or anything like that. Here are April adventures, mostly in and around Vermont, with some excursion to CT and NY. (Hover over each photo for the caption.)
Historic preservation is part of all sorts of projects, especially sidewalk construction (or reconstruction) in historic villages. Sidewalks encounter contributing features such as walkways, hitching posts, markers, landscaping, fences, and trees, as seen above. This photo shows sidewalk construction ongoing and tree protection barriers in place. Note the tight squeeze of the sidewalk between the trees and the historic properties.