Preservation Alliance of West Virginia (PAWV) is giving an instructional workshop about Hazardous Materials in Historic Buildings on Friday, July 26th at Arthurdale Heritage Center from 11am – 5pm. Lynn Stasick, PAWV Statewide Field Representative and EPA-certified lead paint renovator will be the instructor for the workshop. The content will focus on common hazardous materials found in historic buildings including lead paint, mold/mildew, and asbestos. Lynn will provide safety and mitigation tips for dealing with all three of these common hazards. The workshop will explain and quell myths about these common issues. It will also help participants to design plans to approach these problems.
Participants will also be led on a tour of a PAWV 2012 Endangered Site, the Arthurdale School Buildings, to investigate the hazards discussed during the workshop.
The workshop is free for PAWV members and WV Endangered Property Site Representatives, and lunch will be provided for a $10 fee. There is a $15 fee to attend the workshop for non-members.
For more information and to register, contact email@example.com.
By Danielle, Executive Director
Preservation Alliance of West Virginia is very lucky to have a historic preservation expert and EPA-certified lead paint renovator as its Statewide Field Representative. Lynn Stasick’s contracting expertise and knowledge of historic properties has helped countless people all over the state in their efforts to rehabilitate and re-use historic properties.
Preservation Alliance is always thinking of new ways to use Lynn’s skills to help others while in the field. Lynn frequently gives historic window rehabilitation workshops (in fact, there are two coming up this June).
During the windows workshops, Lynn explains the best practices for rehabilitating wooden windows according to the National Park Service’s Class I, II, and III methods of historic windows restoration and gives a step-by-step demonstration for restoration and weatherization. Frequently, Lynn allows time during the workshop for hands-on training, and participants have a chance to see how easy it can be to rehabilitate a window. Recently, we’ve thought of a new way to help people and organizations wanting to tackle a historic preservation project and address their concerns over taking on such a project.
In honor of Historic Preservation Month, Preservation Alliance tried something different. Lynn developed a new workshop focused on hazardous materials and safety in historic buildings, and the preservation-minded folks in Lewisburg hosted our workshop in the Lewisburg City Council Chambers. Following the presentation, we all took a short walk over to the Sears House – a 2013 WV Endangered Property – to get a first hand look at best practices in safely approaching a historic building.
This workshop really hit close to home for the participants and for us. One of the most common concerns that we hear from fledgling preservationists is their worries over hazardous materials – the bad words in historic preservation: lead paint, asbestos, and mold/mildew. We wanted to create an open conversation about these hazards and let people explain their concerns. Throughout the presentation, Lynn explained the real safety issues associated with these three problem areas and devoted time to quelling myths and educating participants about how to properly mitigate and safely work in historic buildings with these hazards. Much was learned by all!
One of the workshop participants, Margaret Hambrick of the Greenbrier County Historical Society taught us something too. Margaret explained that in West Virginia, prior to ANY renovation or demolition permits being issued, one must perform a test to check for asbestos. We’ve often heard the excuse that people do not want to engage in historic preservation projects primarily because of asbestos mitigation, but even if one wants to demolish an old building, she/he must still test for asbestos. As we’ve seen numerous times, many people have strong impressions about working with historic buildings, but they do not have always have all the facts.
Initially, when we developed the plan for the Safety and Hazardous Materials Workshop, we made it open only to representatives from sites listed on the WV Endangered Properties List. We see the value in having an intimate group participate in a workshop and want participants to have chances to share their thoughts, fears, and knowledge on the topic. However, we have since decided not to limit our next workshop, which is scheduled for July 26 in Arthurdale from 11am – 5pm. If you would like to join us at the next Safety and Hazardous Materials Workshop, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. There is a $10 fee for lunch, and Preservation Alliance members may attend the workshop for free. If you are not a member, there is a $15 fee. The presentation will be followed by a look at the Arthurdale School Buildings – 2012 WV Endangered Property.
Want to schedule a workshop in your community? Send an email to email@example.com. We are always happy to travel to new places and work with new faces.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop primarily for real estate agents at the Historic Darden House in Elkins, WV. This was the third workshop in a series with other locations including Martinsburg and Wheeling. The WV State Historic Preservation Office (WVSHPO) and three Certified Local Governments teamed up to give the workshops in honor of National Historic Preservation Month.
Historic homes and residential historic districts are a dime a dozen in West Virginia. To increase the sale of these homes, real estate agents learned historic preservation facts while earning seven Continuing Education Units. Speakers, Robin Ziegler with the National Alliance of Preservation Commissions and Jennifer Brennan with the WVSHPO, had a jam-packed session focused on the National Register of Historic Places, historic preservation financial incentives, and best ways to market historic homes. I’ll share those with you shortly!
Before moving onto the tips, let’s recap the financial incentives available in West Virginia.
State Residential Rehabilitation Tax Credit: This is a 20% state income tax credit which is based on qualified expenditures undertaken as part of the rehabilitation to a historic private residence. The credit is applied directly against taxes owed by the owner. This credit is available to private homeowners for approved rehabilitation work on their own residence. The building must be either individually listed or a contributing building in an historic district listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Non-historic Tax Credit: This 10% tax credit is available for the rehabilitation of non-historic buildings placed in service before 1936. The building must be rehabilitated for non-residential use and cannot be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
State Development Grant: This is for rehabilitation of properties that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or a contributing property in a historic district or/and archaeological development of a site listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The grant will cover up to 50% of the project costs, and a 50% match must be provided to receive the grant.
Federal and State Commercial Rehabilitation Tax Credits: A 20% federal income tax credit and a 10% state income tax credit are available for the rehabilitation of historic, income-producing buildings that are determined by the Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, to be “certified historic structures.” The State Historic Preservation Offices and the National Park Service review the rehabilitation work to ensure that it complies with the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation.
Real estate agents should always know if the property they are selling is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This information is easy to find too! For West Virginians, just go to the WVSHPO’s website to see if your property is listed. Once you know if your property is listed, you will know what financial incentives are available to buyers.
Now for the marketing tips:
1) Create a Story – Research the home and find a few interesting tidbits. Share these with your potential buyers. The National Register nomination should have some useful information, and you can also research deeds at the county assessor’s office. The deed will tell you the history of ownership, and you might find that one of the owners had an interesting past.
2) Highlight Original Elements – Historic buildings are treasure troves for original craftsmanship. This will interest many buyers. Point out woodworking, light fixtures, crown molding, and other original materials. Maybe the building is from a special period. Is it a Sears Kit Home or a Lustron Home? Find out! These are niche markets, and buyers want to know all about these homes.
3) Financial Incentives – Don’t forget these!
4) Be a Resource – Offer information on FHA 203K loans, historic preservation craftspeople (we can help with this one), and insurance companies.
5) Embrace the Flaws – Know your buyers. They may appreciate the hand-made quirks of historic homes. They might want a fixer-upper and will jump at the chance to stain those old hard wood floors that have been hidden under carpet for the last 30 years.
6) Advertise with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and other historic real estate websites/magazines.
7) Know Inspectors who Understand Historic Buildings – They understand that historic buildings were built to last and will tell the truth about the property you are trying to sell.
8) Consider a Specialty – During your research, you may find that there is a prevalent architect, builder, or style in your area. Specialize in a topic that can help you sell these properties.
West Virginia’s population has, for the most part, been on the decline for the last few decades. Real estate agents can help turn around this trend by selling historic homes and increasing investment in West Virginia’s communities.
May is National Historic Preservation Month!
Begin a building project this May and celebrate historic preservation. Not sure where to start? Watch this video about How to Assess a Historic Building and then use this helpful checklist to prioritize your building’s needs.
Have more questions? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for help.
The Arsenal Square site is historically significant as the storage facility for arms produced at the Federal Armory at Harpers Ferry begun during the last decade of the eighteenth century. The Arsenal was also the target of John Brown’s infamous raid in 1859 and is the current, although not original, location for the Armory Engine House; renamed “John Brown’s Fort” after Brown was captured there during the raid.
Arsenal Square is the location of the earliest NPS archeology in Harpers Ferry, starting in the late 1950s. A significant archeology collection from this early excavation is managed by the park’s museum staff. The site is also managed as a cultural landscape. An interdisciplinary approach has enabled the NPS to protect and preserve the archeology site, interpret the major structures from the Armory period, and provide access for park visitors. The site is far from static and has undergone a number of changes through the years. The decision-making process for the development of the site will be discussed and a question and answer session will be included.
Register for the PAWV conference today.
Early bird rates end September 14th.
For the Preservation Alliance of WV conference, Sept. 27-29, in Jefferson County, there has been a change of Plenary Speaker on Friday afternoon.
Instead of Dr. Vishakha Maskey presenting, we will be having Dr. Peter Schaeffer from West Virginia University’s Division of Resource Management.
Here’s a sneak peek into Peter’s talk. Sounds intriguing!
On the Logic and Limitation of Economic Approaches in Historic Preservation
Since the 1980s, economic market solutions to public policy problems have gained acceptance in such areas as environmental protection and historic preservation. This presentation explains the logic and philosophy behind such economic approaches. In so doing, the presentation indicates limitations of an economic approach, particularly when economic values conflict with non-economic values, such as those labeled sentiment and symbolism by the Walter Firey, a pioneer in the field of urban ecology.
You can register for the conference at http://www.pawv.org/conferences/conf12.htm.
After a short, but informative powerpoint presentation on the value of restoring old wooden sash windows, Lynn introduced the volunteer work crew to the wonders of steam as it relates to the removal of glass and paint from window sashes. The individual pane steamer is a handy device for removing glass from sashes. Ten sashes with six panes each were to be worked on. Of the sixty panes, only three were lost to breakage, and they were broken in the sash before the process started. All participants were amazed at the efficiency of this device because we had all tried to remove glass with various hand tools. The steam process is quick, easy, and with no loss of glass.The steam chest that Lynn brought was used to soften paint on the sashes after glass removal. With 20 to 30 minutes exposure to steam in the cabinet, paint can be removed with appropriate scrapers with little effort and no paint/lead dust.
Because not all of the paint could be removed on the 14th, Lynn left a steam generator and cabinet for follow-up use. Progress continues to be made on preparing the sashes for painting and reglazing.
Three workshop participants rehabbing windows for their restoration project.
Thank you to our blog contributor, Frank Roleff, for this complimentary article. For more information about having Lynn at one of your workshops, click HERE.
Don’t believe how easy it can be to rehab your own windows? Watch this video and you’ll be convinced! Historic Window Rehabilitation with Lynn Stasick
I am really excited about having some of the conference events at Claymont Court, which was constructed in 1840 in the Georgian style for Bushrod Corbin Washington, a grand-nephew of George Washington. I had the pleasure of staying there last fall while scouting conference locations and enjoyed my over-night stay in the mansion. No ghost encounters for me, fortunately, and when I walked the grounds alone one evening, I felt an overwhelming sense of calm from the site. The historic mansion and grounds are beautifully-preserved, and it’s a very peaceful environment – a great place for learning! From my short stay, I can see why John G. Bennett chose this as the location for his nine-month Fourth Way school back in 1974. Not only is the mansion fabulous, but its location is very quiet, as it is tucked among rolling hills about 4 miles outside of Charles Town.
Conference participants are going to learn so much during their time at Claymont Court, and I think it will be relaxing, as well. While at Claymont, you can wander the grounds, visit the new Native American museum, or venture to the grand barn. It is a place for introspection and self-development, as intended by Mr. Bennett, but it is also the perfect setting for spending time with like-minded folks. When you aren’t engulfed in one of the educational sessions, you will have time to share stories with others and learn from sharing these experiences. I hope many people will take advantage of this opportunity and join me in enhancing the historic preservation ethos throughout the mountain state.
Join Preservation Alliance of WV in Charleston on Thursday, September 13th for an American Institute of Certified Planners Certificate Maintenance Training Seminar.
Earn law & ethics credits at this training! You can earn 3.5 total credit hours at this training. There is a $25 fee with lunch included. Add $15 and become a PAWV member at a discounted rate!
Register by contacting email@example.com or by calling 304.345.6005.
Location: Homeowner Education & Community Center at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 301 Piedmont Road, Charleston, WV
Click HERE for more information about the schedule!
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