Founded in 1980, the Guilford Preservation Alliance is an organization of citizen-volunteers dedicated to preserving and protecting the town’s built and natural heritage for future generations. Among the highlights of our first thirty years, the GPA has:
1. Secured scenic-road designation for Routes 77 and 146 and placed Meeting House Hill, Route 146, and Dudleytown (Clapboard Hill) on the National Register of Historic Places, participated in the establishment of two Guilford Town Historic Districts, supported the establishment of the Village District Act, and co-sponsored with the Guilford Historic District Commission the Certified Local Government designation for Guilford (a companion program to the National Registry of Historic Places).
2. Established an annual awards program to recognize outstanding achievement in preservation.
3. Used the Guilford Preservation Alliance’s Jones Trust Fund for Historic Preservation to provide assistance for the restoration of the Griswold House, water tower and bowling alley on Broad Street, the restoration and preservation of the Dudley Farm in North Guilford and in financing the initial efforts of the Faulkner’s Light Brigade to preserve the island and Connecticut’s second oldest lighthouse, and various other landmarks in Guilford.
4. Supported the annual “Early Guilford Days” program for fourth-graders in collaboration with historic organizations and public schools.
5. Compiled authoritative surveys of historically significant homes, business and industrial structures, barns, and outbuildings.
6. Helped preserve open space by assisting in the creation of the town’s Land Acquisition Committee.
7. Published the Master Plan for Preservation and Scenic Conservation.
8. Lobbied for funds to restore the Whitfield State Museum (“Old Stone House”).
9. Worked with town officials to draft and enact regulations governing delay of demolition, blight, and protection of historic stone walls.
10. Sponsored public meetings on issues pertinent to historic Guilford and forums for selectmen candidates.
11. Held public workshops that resulted in the creation of the Town Center South Committee under the Planning and Zoning Commission.
12. Proposed and secured planning grant for walkway connecting the Green with the waterfront.
13. Spearheaded ongoing effort to preserve Guilford’s 19th-century railroad buildings.
14. Inventoried public street trees and assisted in planting 361 trees in the Borough of Guilford.
15. Acquired the Kingsnorth-Starr House (ca. 1645) and resold it with protective covenants.
16. Cooperated with town officials to install traffic-calming crosswalks, sidewalks, and traffic islands, and to rebuild a historic stone bridge on Great Hill Road.
17. Published Sarah McCulloch’s Guilford: A Walking Guide; sponsored publication by the Guilford Free Library of Nona Bloomer’s Guilford Bibliography; underwrote the second printing of Around the Guilford Green: A Children’s Walking Guide (compiled by Joann Carmody Corlett); and provided financial support for the on-line cataloging of the Guilford Free Library’s Historical Room Collection.
18. Advocated and lobbied for passage of flexible design standards for roads and bridges while enabling town to continue to receive funding from state and federal sources.
19. Initiated an administrative study committee to organize information needed for the site plan application process that resulted in the Town Hall South Handbook: Planning & Development Application Process.
20. Produced the brochure, “Guilford’s Historic Heritage: What Exists, Where to Find It & How to Protect It,” compiled by Jennifer Allcock and Robert Gordon.
21. Participated in the Design Guideline Study for Route One East and West Commercial Corridor, which resulted in zoning analysis and the establishment of the Design Review Committee for the Town.