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About the Preservation Easement Program

A home is more than a house, as the saying goes. Yet, for many our homes define us and are associated our most important memories. Thus many proud owners of  historic homes spend an extensive amount of time and resources to preserve the architectural fabric that makes their house significant and memorable. But what happens to a house when a conscientious owner is no longer around? Will new owners understand the significance of the architectural features? Will they unknowingly make changes that erode the property's historic character? Once altered or removed, the things that make a house important can never be returned to their original state.

For owners concerned about this future, the proven option for long-term preservation is the donation of a preservation easement to a qualified non-profit organization such as Historic New England. A preservation easement is a legal agreement used to protect significant building and landscape features of a historic property and is recorded with local land records. Historic New England has been working with homeowners for more than thirty years to protect historic homes, and has a strong interest in protecting all types and styles of domestic buildings that make up New England's architectural heritage.

Our Staff:

Carissa Demore, Supervising Preservation Services Manager
Carissa oversees the management and enforcement of existing easements throughout New England and works with owners interested in entering their property into the Preservation Easement Program, drafting easement documents, and documenting existing conditions at buildings and sites. She meets frequently with real estate brokers and prospective buyers regarding easement properties that are going on the market, to explain Historic New England's role at the property and the scope of each easement.

Carissa is the Second Vice President of the New England Chapter of the Society of Architectural Historians. Before joining Historic New England, she was a program coordinator for the Annapolis Main Street Program, helping small business owners revitalize and maintain their historic commercial districts. Carissa also has previous easement-monitoring experience, working with the L’Enfant Trust in Washington, D.C. A Colorado native, Carissa has a B.S. in landscape architecture from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Maryland.

Joanna McKnight, Preservation Services Manager, Northern New England
Joanna manages the Preservation Easement Program’s easements throughout Northern New England, including Maine, northern Massachusetts, and New Hampshire. Prior to joining Historic New England, she interned with both the North Carolina and Virginia State Historic Preservation Offices and volunteered with Preservation North Carolina. Through these opportunities, Joanna gained experience monitoring preservation easements, working with National Register guidelines, and consulting on preservation projects. A recent graduate of the Master of Architectural History program at the University of Virginia, Joanna also holds a graduate certificate in Historic Preservation (UVA) and a B.A. in History (N.C. State University).

Preservation Services Manager, Southern New England

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About the Preservation Easement Program