Norwich Preservation Group Receives National Award

  • Norwich Historic Preservation Commission’s free walking tour brochure is available at the Norwich Historical Society, Tracy Hall, the Norwich Inn and a number of Vermont Welcome Centers.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Norwich — The Norwich Historic Preservation Commission has been named 2016 Commission of the Year by the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions.

The award, which presented at the alliance’s biennial conference in Mobile, Ala., on July 29, “highlights the essential role that local historic preservation commissions play in preserving our historic communities,” Laura Trieschmann, state historic preservation officer, said in news release from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.

“The success of the Norwich commission is the result of the hard work of the commission members and the partnerships they have created locally, and their ability to engage the community with innovative and creative projects.”

The preservation commission was selected for its outstanding work in raising awareness about Norwich’s historic, architectural and cultural resources, the release said.

The alliance’s awards committee “was struck by the breadth and scope of the commission’s interests and activities, including completion of a town-wide architectural survey, initiation of National Register nominations, production of a walking tour brochure, development of a website, and the recent effort to document mid-century modern structures in Norwich.”

“We appreciate the award greatly,” said Peter Brink, vice-chair of the Norwich Historic Preservation Commission.

“The first chair of our board, Nancy Hoggson, was our great leader and partner in this until her death of cancer in January 2015 and deserves much of the credit,” Brink said. “The town of Norwich and its planning director provide excellent support, and the Norwich Historical Society is critical, with its historical research and assistance.”

One of the commission’s most impressive projects was the production of Cycles of Change: Farming in Norwich, an exhibit and film documenting the town’s family farms and the role they play in the cultural heritage of the community, the release said. Many of the commission’s projects were funded in part by grants from the National Park Service, through the Certified Local Government program, of which Norwich is an active member.

About 15,000 copies of the walking tour brochure have been distributed, Brink said in a telephone interview.

— Staff report