Courtesy Chaffee Center for the Arts
George Thrall Chaffee built the
now historic mansion in 1895.
Governor Phil Scott, the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation (VDHP) and the Vermont Advisory Council on Historic Preservation recently announced grants totaling $319,090 to 19 municipalities and non-profit organizations in six counties to facilitate the restoration and rehabilitation of Vermont landmarks and important historic buildings and structures. These grants will help to leverage more than $1.5 million in additional efforts.
“This successful program continues to support local projects and investments in communities across the state,” said Governor Scott. “This work employs skilled craftspeople, while also helping to preserve landmarks and monuments that are so important to the character of our state.”
“The projects funded in 2024 involve some of Vermont’s most iconic historic buildings and structures,” stated State Historic Preservation Officer Laura V. Trieschmann. “These places matter because they reflect our history and serve as the centerpieces of our communities. Preserving historic sites starts at the local level and we applaud this year’s grant recipients for their commitment.”
Grants awarded this year will support work on historic Vermont landmarks, including the chimney reconstruction at the Chaffee Center in Rutland, Rockingham Meetinghouse, Middlebury Congregational Church, the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Burlington, replacement of the slate roof at the Braintree Hill Meeting House, masonry repairs on the West Townsend Stone Arch Bridge, structural work on the tower of the Old First Church in Bennington, and window restoration at the Tenney Memorial Library in Newbury.
Rutland’s Chaffee Mansion received $20,000 that will be used to complete major repairs to the building’s three large and ornate brick chimneys. George Thrall Chaffee built the Queen Anne-style mansion in 1895. After his death, the building was boarded up for over 30 years until the Rutland Area Art Association asked to use the building as part of 1961 Bicentennial celebrations. This success prompted the creation of a permanent art center. The Chaffee Art Center is now a venue for events and art classes for all ages.
The Division for Historic Preservation administers the Historic Preservation Grants awarded these one-to-one matching grants up to $20,000 for the rehabilitation of civic and community resources that are a vital part of Vermont’s historic downtowns, villages, and rural communities. To qualify, the resource must be at least 50 years of age and listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. Since the creation of the historic preservation grants in 1986, more than 650 projects on historic buildings, structures, and sites owned by municipalities and non-profits have received $6.7 million.
A full list of award winners can be found on the VDHP website, accd.vermont.gov/historic-preservation.