Welcome to the Guilford Preservation Alliance’s new and improved website! We hope you like the crisp, up-to-date look that designer Cathi Bosco has created for us. We invite you to visit us online regularly and explore the site’s many new features. In addition to columns focusing on local history and issues related to planning and development, you’ll find information about the GPA’s public programs and other activities, news about current preservation issues, and links to other websites that we think will interest you.
Although “preservation” is the GPA’s middle name, we take equal pride in our “alliance” moniker. Since 1980, the GPA has been partnering with town officials and other community organizations to build bridges between Guilford’s past and future as the town continues to grow. You can be an important part of that effort by joining our team of hard-working volunteers. Our new website is intended to encourage communication and dialogue, and help identify areas in which we can work together to enhance Guilford’s unique character and way of life.
Unlike Guilford’s five outstanding historic-house museums, the GPA has no physical property to maintain. Nor is our agenda limited to historic preservation, environmental stewardship, open-space protection, or any other specific issue. Instead, the GPA was founded with a broad mission to “preserve and protect the built and natural heritage of the town” and to promote “joint public action to mobilize the community” in pursuit of those goals. Over the years, our initiatives have ranged from popular educational programs like “Early Guilford Days” to the planting of street trees and the protection of scenic viewsheds and corridors, such as those along Routes 77 and 146. You can read about some of our major accomplishments by clicking on the menu under GPA Projects.
In collaboration with the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, GPA volunteers recently completed a field survey of Guilford’s historic barns and other outbuildings. The statewide survey, including photos and descriptions of many Guilford barns, can be viewed online at www.connecticutbarns.org. The more comprehensive local survey can be consulted in print form in the Historic Room of the Guilford Free Library and will soon be available online at this address. We are also working on plans to expand and improve the GPA’s valuable online survey of historic buildings in Guilford.
In celebration of our thirtieth anniversary, the GPA will mount an exhibition of Ellen Ebert’s beautiful color photographs of scenic and historic sites around town–this display will appear in the Town Hall sometime in the first half of 2011. A selection of Ellen’s images adorns our new homepage.
For those of you who are not already GPA members, membership is only a click away (see Membership page on our heading above). In filling out our membership form you may also choose to contribute to the Hugh McKay Jones Trust Fund for Historic Preservation. Established in 1985 in honor of Hugh Jones, a noted architect and community benefactor, this revolving fund enables the GPA to provide loans and grants to worthy preservation projects around town. In 2010, for example, we made grants to the Guilford Keeping Society, to help with the upkeep of the Griswold House Museum, and to the Dudley Farm in North Guilford for renovation of a porch roof.
Whatever your particular interest or expertise, the GPA values your input and participation. Remember: your energy, enthusiasm, and ideas are our most important renewable resource!