Meetinghouse, drug company building on ‘Seven to Save’ list
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A meetinghouse damaged by fire, a home to a former pharmaceutical company and a one-time school that faced demolition are among the historic places named to this year’s “Seven to Save” list from the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance.
The 2016 fire destroyed much of the 220-year-old Grafton Center Meetinghouse, which has served as a gathering place through the years and was last used as a church. A property tax dispute has hindered the building’s rehabilitation.
A nonprofit just got approval to acquire and move the Gale School in Belmont; the group now needs funds. The 1894 Victorian Stick-style architecture building narrowly survived a school district vote last year on demolition.
The 1860s Parker J. Noyes Building on Lancaster’s Main Street, named for the former head of a company that invented machinery to sugarcoat pills, is vacant and in need of a plan to increase its use.
This is the 12th list since the “Seven to Save” program began in 2006. Since then, the nonprofit preservation alliance says more than half of the listed properties have moved from threatened status to saved, or are on their way to being saved. This year’s properties were announced Friday night at the Wolfeboro Town Hall, which was listed in 2009 and preserved in a campaign led by a local group in partnership with the town.
Criteria include the property’s historical or architectural significance, severity of the current threat, and the extent to which the “Seven to Save” listing would help in preserving it.
“The need for new investment, deterioration and demolition are varied threats to the historic properties on this list,” said Michael Duffy, an alliance board member and chairman of the “Seven to Save” committee.”
Others on this year’s list are two structures built around 1850, the Hope Engine Co. No. 1 in Hinsdale, a rare, post-and-beam fire engine house, and the Greek Revival French-Taylor House on Main Street in Moultonborough; a 1924 Colonial revival freight shed in Canaan, one of the few remaining railroad buildings along the former Northern Railroad corridor; and the former St. Joseph Catholic Church in Bartlett, built in 1890. The local historical society hopes to turn it into a museum and its headquarters.
Jennifer Goodman, alliance executive director, said one thing different about this year’s list is that all seven properties stand in small towns that range in population from 1,300, to 7,300.
“Our small-town character makes our state distinctive,” she said.