MANCHESTER, NH – The Manchester Historic Association (MHA) has selected eight honorees for its 23rd annual Historic Preservation Awards that will be presented at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 14, 2015 at Manchester Community College, 1066 Front Street.  The program recognizes and supports the efforts of individuals, businesses and organizations who have made significant contributions to the preservation of buildings, neighborhoods, traditions and other historic resources in the Queen City.

Historic ManchesterThe 23rd Annual Historic Preservation Award honorees are:

Individual Achievement Award

Ralph Sidore

for long-term rehabilitation and reuse of the mill building at 150 Dow Street

Sidore is one of the early practitioners of adaptive reuse of old buildings.  Today the century-old structure houses many interesting and creative businesses.   Sidore oversaw major work on the infrastructure in 2012.  For many years he has provided pro-bono storage space for MHA collections and has been an overall supporter of historic preservation.

Private Development Award

Wieczorek Insurance Agency

for 166 Concord Street

This Concord Street property was the very first parcel sold into private ownership when the Amoskeag Manufacturing Corporation began building the city in October 1838.  A carpenter, Levi Jewel, paid just $300 for a quarter acre of land but didn’t build on it.  In 1846 Jewel sold the land to John N. Brown, who built the 15-room brick structure that stands today.  Many of the original architectural features remain.  Raymond J. Wieczorek bought the building in 1979 and continues to operate his insurance business there.

Conservation of Natural and Structural Resources

Manchester Water Works

for maintaining the city water supply and stewardship of the Massabesic watershed

Manchester Water Works is responsible for providing drinking water and fire protection to the City of Manchester and portions of Auburn, Bedford, Derry, Goffstown, Hooksett and Londonderry.  It operates the city’s water treatment plant on Lake Shore Drive and maintains reservoirs on Oak Hill and Mammoth Road.  As New Hampshire’s largest water utility, it supervises recreational boating on Lake Massabesic utilizing sound engineering, long-term planning and preventive maintenance practices.

Homeowner’s Award

Sophia Plentzas

for 582 Belmont Street

Built in 1870, this distinctive brick Gothic cottage with attached carriage house and slate roof is recognized not only for its fine condition, but because it has remained in the same family since 1960. Its distinctive features include sawn wood trim, including brackets and verge boards, turned finials at the top of each gable and the cupola. The brickwork includes very nicely-executed relieving arches over each door and window.  Inside, the trim is black walnut, including a splendid fireplace mantelpiece.

Neighborhood Improvement Award

Craig R. St. Pierre

for the Daniel K. Mack home at 467 Central Street

Nominated by two citizens of Manchester, this private home was built in 1883.  It has been extensively renovated to bring out many of the original features.  Layers of paint and wallpaper were stripped to reveal the earliest molding and wall coverings.  In addition, a treasure trove of items was found under some loose attic floorboards including letters, film reels, books and membership passes to Derryfield Country Club.  Craig R. St. Pierre has owned it since 2011.

Restoration of a City Landmark Award

Holy Trinity Polish National Catholic Church

for the cathedral at 166 Pearl Street

This church recently completed a $450,000 interior renovation.  It was organized in 1913 as an independent Catholic church and became affiliated with Polish National Catholic Church in 1930.  Today it serves as the cathedral for the Eastern Diocese.  In October 2015 Holy Trinity will be re-consecrated as it celebrates its 100th anniversary.

Restoration of an Historic Home Award

Amy & Josh Tessier

for 329 River Road

In 2009 the Tessiers bought a former unofficial St. Anselm College fraternity house as their personal residence, undertaking a major restoration while focusing on the original integrity of the home.  They have replaced the chimneys and roof with copper accents and period style architectural shingles,  stripped clapboard siding down to bare wood, commissioned custom made exterior molding, rebuilt front and side porches, refinished hardwood floors, restored the living room fireplace mantle and hearth, and completely renovated the kitchen with custom period style cabinets.

Traditional Trade Award

Louis P. Cote, Inc.

for the family rigging business

Founded in the Manchester millyard in 1945, this firm originally collected paper and cardboard waste for recycling.  Now located in Goffstown, it specializes in the relocation, transportation, crating and set-up of heavy machinery including jets, helicopters, engines, statues, steeple bells, stages and signage.  The third generation of the Cote family is involved.  In 2014 Cote Riggers voluntarily took on a major project for the MHA – the relocation of an 1871 Amoskeag Steam Fire Engine from Portland, ME to its permanent home at the Millyard Museum in Manchester.

Century Club

A new category of recognition, the Century Club, has been created, and the MHA will acknowledge two institutions that have reached the milestone of 100 years.  The city’s Carpenter Memorial Library and Palace Theatre will be recognized.

Tickets are $85 each ($75 for MHA members), or $600 for a table of eight. Sponsorship opportunities are available.  Proceeds will help achieve several goals in MHA’s strategic plan including updating the Millyard Museum, creating more interactive exhibits and expanding educational programs.  Reservations may be made by calling (603) 622-7531.

Founded in 1896, the Manchester Historic Association is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization with the mission to collect, preserve and share the history of Manchester, New Hampshire, USA.  The Association operates the Millyard Museum and the Research Center, both of which are open to the general public.  The Association presents a variety of public programs including lectures, walking tours and concerts, and also school programs for students from third grade through college.  Call (603) 622-7531 for more information, or visit