Generous gift supports expanded preservation efforts in Connecticut

Feb 7, 2022

Thanks to a gift establishing the Edward F. Gerber Urban Preservation Fund, Historic New England is able to support preservation of historic, private, owner-occupied properties in key urban areas of Connecticut.

The Edward F. Gerber Urban Preservation Fund supports the preservation of private historic homes in Connecticut. This endowed fund allows Historic New England to continue its work to build a powerful network of historic preservation and community stakeholders by providing critical support to historic residential property owners in Connecticut’s urban centers.

As the oldest and largest regional preservation organization in the country, Historic New England is deeply committed to preserving the rich architectural and cultural history that is reflected in homes across New England. “This fund is a great way to help homeowners all over Connecticut learn about Historic New England and everything it has to offer,” says Ed Gerber, a member of Historic New England’s Board of Trustees and a native of Connecticut. “Historic New England has the capacity and the experience to manage this fund, and it will be a great complement to its Community Preservation Grants program for nonprofits.”

From the pattern of streets to the network of public spaces and the diverse character of commercial and residential buildings, Connecticut’s urban neighborhoods reflect centuries of development and contain critical spaces for vibrant, engaged communities to thrive. “That continued investment in a place helps build a sense of community,” says Historic New England’s Team Leader for Historic Preservation Carissa Demore. “We are thrilled for this opportunity to connect directly with people doing the challenging, creative, and tireless work to preserve their homes. We are also enormously grateful to Ed Gerber for his dedication, wisdom, and support.”

Eligible communities

Eligible properties must be in Bridgeport, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Norwalk, Stamford, Waterbury, or West Haven. Twenty-seven percent of Connecticut’s population live in these urban centers. By investing in these areas, Historic New England will leverage the power of a strong network of local, state and regional preservation organizations to support highly visible preservation projects at the heart of Connecticut’s urban communities. “A lot of the energy in urban areas is from people investing in and restoring older houses,” says Gerber.

A grant, plus guidance from staff experts

Preserving an older home requires an understanding of historic building techniques, specialized trades, and traditional materials, which can be a challenge for homeowners. By providing an annual $10,000 grant to a private homeowner, the fund supports thoughtful decision-making about historic home maintenance and restoration. Property owners who receive a grant will also receive support and guidance from Historic New England’s staff experts in architectural history and historic preservation, ensuring that projects enhance the historic significance of a home and will stand the test of time. “Ed’s gift aligns perfectly with goals in Historic New England’s new strategic plan. It is an excellent move forward in broadening how we support historic preservation and community livability throughout the region,” said Historic New England President and CEO Vin Cipolla.

Historic New England in Connecticut

Historic New England has been preserving historic homes in New England for more than a century. Work in Connecticut includes the historic house museum Roseland Cottage in Woodstock, and fifteen privately-owned properties protected through its Preservation Easement Program. The Edward F. Gerber Urban Preservation Fund represents the next step in this effort, and accelerates Historic New England’s work as the leading voice for the full New England experience.

Read the grant guidelines

Stay tuned

Join our mailing list for the Edward F. Gerber Urban Preservation Fund Application to receive email updates on this program.