10 Tips for Managing An Historic Preservation Project

As you start down the path of saving and using your historic building, here are a few tips to help you along the way:

Vermont Arts Exchange, North Bennington, VTVermont Arts Exchange, North Bennington, VT
Photo by Sanders H. Milens

1.Always thank your contributors. Have you ever not been thanked by an organization you contributed to? Remember how you felt?

2.Keep careful records about your project. Maintain a list of contributors and the chronology of your effort. You'll need this information to tell the story of your success.

3. Make sure that everyone connected with your effort knows the history and chronology of the project. They should also know who contributed.

4. Involve as many people as possible in the effort. Teams do work!

5. Saving great historic buildings is hard work, so be sure to find ways to have fun along the way. We can tell what other organizations have done.

6. Find an important use for the finished building. The more the building is used, the more people will appreciate it and help maintain it over the long term.

7. When hiring an architect and contractor, be sure to get people who appreciate old buildings and have a lot of experience working on them. Visit some of the buildings they have worked on.

Ben Thresher's Mill, Barnet

Ben Thresher's Mill, Barnet, VT
Photo by Sanders H. Milens

8. If you are lucky enough to receive a grant, be sure to understand and follow all of the conditions required by the donor. If reports are required, mark the dates on your calendar and be sure to submit them on time. Be sure to say thank you!

9. Keep in touch with your supporters. Let them know how the effort is moving along.

10. Publicize your progress. When you receive a grant or large donation, celebrate by letting the local paper, radio station, and television know. Be sure to recognize the donor, and be sure to get their name right!