Huzzah! I was going to say Yea!, but thought that I would kick it 18th century style in honor of our house.
We got our approval from Connecticut's National Register of Historic Places Review Board last Thursday. Our house's nomination will next be sent on by the state Historic Preservation Office to the Department of the Interior for final review and inclusion on the National Register. This is supposedly pretty much a formality - nominations are not supposed to be sent out by the state until they are a slam dunk, but I'm always skeptical until things are officially official.
The Review Board meeting in Hartford was actually pretty interesting. There were three Historic District nominations presented before our house, and it was a unique opportunity to hear a group of very distinguished architects, historians and archaeologists provide their thoughts an opinions on some fascinating buildings and historic sites. The Review board does a lot of preparation work. They had five nominations to read and they clearly had read and thought about each with care and interest.
Our review was, thankfully, pretty tame. I briefly introduced the property and the reasons for nomination, and, upon request, shared the story of our acquisition of the Victorian-era photo album of our house that my parents found last year. You, of course, already know this story, having feverishly read and re-read each and every post in this blog, right? If not, go back to my March 2010 postings. Do not pass Go, and do not collect $200 dollars. Say 3 Hail Marys, and sin not again.
The Review Board had lots of compliments (apparently, it is very uncommon for homeowners to prepare their own nominations, and even rarer for them to do this and not embarrass themselves), and only a few suggestions. Specifically, they wanted me to include more of the old pictures of the house in the nomination, and to draw more attention to the Hudson Valley influences that are present in our house. As it turns out, the architectural and design influence of the Hudson Valley on Connecticut is a hot topic in architectural historian circles in Connecticut. No doubt, you have been following the debate on Twitter. Happily, even the self-described nit-picker on the board had found no typos, which would have really bothered me.
Anyway, that was it. Nomination approved unanimously. After I make the few changes to the document, it all gets printed up on archival paper, and two copies and a CD go to the state for onward distribution to the Department of the Interior. They have a 45 day turn-around time for nominations, so I'm tentatively planning a plaque-unveiling for late winter.
|Wouldn't this be a sassy addition to the front of our house?|
The only downside to the day was when I learned from a Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation representative that they would no longer be offering barn preservation grants for private structures. Since that was the whole reason I started down the National Register road, that was a bummer. Oh well. Times are tight and funding for old barns isn't at the top of most people's agendas (including mine), so I can understand it. I'll just need to buy some extra duct tape to try to hold the barn together until my inevitable lottery win allows for a proper restoration.