One Foundation Supports Two Andover Nonprofit Roofs

Grants given to repair Hub and AHS roofs

By Larry Chase
The Andover Community Hub has received grant funding to help with roof repairs on its home, the former 1879 Town Hall. Photo: Ty Morris

Two of Andover’s iconic historical structures are among the 40 recent recipients of historic-preservation and land-conservation matching grants from the New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program (LCHIP), according to an announcement made in December 2021.

The Andover Community Hub will receive a grant of $16,395, contingent on raising a similar amount from other sources, to fund a replacement of the roof of the former town hall in Andover Village, now owned by the Hub. The Andover Historical Society will receive a grant of $15,000, contingent on raising $16,000 from other sources, to replace the roof of the Potter Place Railroad Station, now in the Historical Society’s possession.

Andover is one of only two towns in the state to receive two LCHIP grants in 2021.  The other is  neighboring Wilmot to support restoration of the Wilmot Town Hall and the North Wilmot Union Meetinghouse.

The New Hampshire Land and Community Heritage Investment Program is an independent state authority created by the legislature in 2000. LCHIP’s legislative mandate is to ensure the perpetual contribution of natural, cultural, and historic resources to the economy, environment, and quality of life in New Hampshire. LCHIP does this by providing matching grants to New Hampshire municipalities and non-profits to conserve and preserve the state’s most important natural, cultural, and historic resources.

From the Hub’s Grant Application

Andover’s wood-framed 1879 town hall has significance for its association with local government and for its vernacular Italianate architecture which is relatively rare in New Hampshire. As the town’s first singular-use town hall, the building played an important role between 1879 and 1963 when it housed town offices, town meetings, and, after 1934, a gymnasium for the nearby high school. 

Its location and setting in Andover Village remain unchanged, the building’s design is intact, and the granite capstones, gable window (with its distinctive pedimented hood), and original 1879 date board with the upside-down “2” remain. It is now a community center known as The Andover Community Hub.

Work to be done:  The current asphalt shingle roof on Andover’s old town hall is in poor shape, has had one significant leak since its purchase in 2016, and pieces of shingle are routinely found in the parking lot by board members working at the building. 

Replacing the roof soon is essential to maintaining the structural integrity of the entire building, and particularly to avoid initial damage to the second floor which is currently unfinished and unused but newly insulated and has great potential for future use. 

The existing layer of damaged shingles will be removed, the roof deck inspected and replaced as needed, underlayment installed, new similar asphalt shingles, drip edges, and roof vent installed, all flashing inspected and replaced as needed, rake trees repaired, and damaged gable trim wrapped for protection. The roof of the attached historic outhouse will also be replaced, as will the roof of the more recent small addition on the building’s east side.

From the AHS Grant Application

The Potter Place Railroad Station may be unique in having survived almost unchanged since its construction in 1874.  Cited as “perhaps the state’s finest nineteenth century wooden railroad station.” (Tolles, “New Hampshire Architecture,” 1979).

The Andover Historical Society has also received grant funding to help repair the slate roof on the Potter Place Railroad Station. Photo: Larry Chase

The exterior and main level rooms appear virtually as they did in the late nineteenth century with minor changes. The station has been owned by the Andover Historical Society and operated as a museum since 1983. The station is in its original location and is the dominant structure of the small railroad community.  

Although no longer a bustling center, Potter Place has escaped modern infill and intrusions, and retains a charming nineteenth century atmosphere.

Work to be done: Broken and loose roof slates will be fixed or replaced with Vermont slate and any underlying problems will be repaired. Copper will be used as flashing on dormers and the hips, which is supported by existing copper flashing on the dormers, and copper gutters will be replaced on the two sides where support rods still exist. 

Shoulder-high drainpipes still stand at three corners, but their condition and destination are unknown. Most of the drainage work will be done by volunteers. 

This work is an important component in an ongoing program of restoration. In 2020, an in-house crew removed the rotting semaphore, which is being repaired and will be re-erected in 2022.  Repairing the roof and replacing the gutters precedes repairing or replacing the platform that has been damaged by water.