Preservation Burlington is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect the historic architecture and livability of Burlington through education and advocacy.
Preservation Burlington was founded in 1998 by local residents and preservationists. Over the past decade our accomplishments include: preserving the Varney House at 76 Cherry Street, Henry’s Diner, and the Captain White House; passing the “four unrelated adult” ordinance to help bring families back to historic neighborhoods in the core of the city; and recognizing a variety of local projects and individuals with yearly preservation awards.
Homes Tour Committee
Responsible for organizing Preservation Burlington's biggest fundraiser, typically held in June each year. We scout out potential homes, research their histories, compile a tour booklet, solicit ads for the program, and promote the tour in the local media.
Works to monitor and protect Burlington’s neighborhoods, historic homes, and quality of life. The committee meets ad hoc to discuss current events. When issues arise the committee researches problems and solutions and produces recommendations that can then be presented to the community. Preservation Burlington is often looked to for expertise when there is a perceived threat and our Advocacy Committee is the source of that expertise.
Works towards an expansion of the understanding of preservation issues. The committee produces a cable access television show that appears monthly on Channel 17, CCTV. In addition to this, they also organize a slate of how to workshops and public speaking forums on both “nuts and bolts” preservation and policy issues. This past year was the first History Hunt cosponsored by Burlington Planning and Zoning and the University of Vermont Historic Preservation Program. It was a huge success and received rave reviews from everyone that participated.
Matt Viens - president
Matt Viens has been a member of the Board since 2008 and has served as vice president and a member of the Homes Tour Committee. Matt works as an attorney in the Vermont Attorney General's Office. He and his partner live in a circa 1850 Greek Revival style home on Saint Paul Street which was originally owned by Almus Truman, a captain on Lake Champlain who commanded, among other crafts, the steamers Washington and Winooski. Matt's interests include collecting and restoring antiques, gardening and playing with his two Boxers - Franklin and Mady.
Norman Williams - vice president
Norman Williams was a founding member of Preservation Burlington and has been on the board of directors since 1998. With fellow member and former director Don Dickson, he led PB's effort to pass the "four unrelated adult" ordinance to improve the quality of life in historic neighborhoods. He was also actively involved in PB's successful effort to save the historic Varney House on Cherry Street from demolition. Norm himself owns an 1890 house which, he says, presents no shortage of challenges. He is an attorney at Gravel and Shea.
Sarah LeVaun Graulty - secretary
A Burlingtonian since 2006 and PB board member since 2011, Sarah is a Project Manager at Heritage Landscapes, Preservation Landscape Architects & Planners in Charlotte, VT, where her work focuses on the research, documentation, analysis, and preservation of cultural landscapes across the country. In addition to cultural landscapes, Sarah is particularly interested in vernacular architecture, industrial archeology, and the relationships between historic preservation, sustainability, economics, livability, and quality of life.
Jack Mentes - treasurer
Jack spent 30 years brokering yellow pages advertising for national clients; has operated a small retail packaging business and; has worked in construction. He lives with Peggy, his spouse of nearly 48 years, and has two children and two grandchildren. Jack has a keen interest in architecture and is passionate about the conservation of our built heritage. Of particular interest to Jack is the controversial topic of historic windows and the debate surrounding repair vs replacement.
Marge was born in New Hampshire, and raised there and in Vermont. She attended UVM's Jeanne Mance School of Nursing, Salem State College, and Simmons College. She has worked as a teacher and (mostly) as a nurse, both stateside here in New England and internationally in Sri Lanka and Jamaica (with Project HOPE), Malawi (with the Peace Corps), and at the National Guard Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Now mostly retired, Marge spends a lot of her time volunteering and collect books, vintage tiles and clothing.
Karl grew up in the Finger Lakes area of upstate New York, but has lived and worked all over the country doing work in fine craftsmanship and
historic preservation. He has lived in Burlington since 2008 and joined the board in 2011. Currently he works in the field of timber frame barn restoration, but also engages in window and trim restoratio in the Burlington community. He is n member of the Timber Framer's Guild of North America, and enjoys teaching and using hand tools to help create a more sustainable world.
Originally from England, Liisa has lived in Burlington since 2006. She is a principal with Blue Brick Preservation and an adjunct faculty member in the Historic Preservation program at Plymouth State University. Liisa shares a 1950s ranch house, whose historic wooden windows she thinks are of a genius design seldom seen since, with her two kids. Liisa's passions include historic industrial buildings, firehouses and little-known builder-architects of the vernacular landscape.
Preservation Burlington's first president, Tom Simon, is serving a second stint on the Board after serving from 1998 to 2004. A partner in the Burlington law firm of McCormick, Fitzpatrick, Kasper & Burchard, P.C., Tom lives in an 1899 vernacular Queen Anne on Spruce Street with his wife, Carolyn Hanson, his children, Nolan and Calista, and his dog, Rocket. He has served as a House Captain for every Historic Homes Tour that Preservation Burlington has ever sponsored. Tom's interests include coaching youth baseball and researching and writing about baseball and local history. His books include Green Mountain Boys of Summer: Vermonters in the Major Leagues, 1882-1993 and The Wonder Team in the White City: UVM at the Intercollegiate Base Ball Tournament of 1893. Tom also serves on the board of Burlington American Little League. His favorite Burlington historic structures are Centennial Field, the Flynn Theatre, and the Breakwater.
Ron Wanamaker has been a member of the Board since 2007 and has served as Vice President and President. A passionate preservationist, he continues to serve on the Education Committee for Preservation Burlington and is also a member of Burlington’s Design Advisory Board. A contractor since 1988, he has lived and worked in Burlington since 1998 and managed Wanamaker Restoration as well as Champlain Valley Millworks.