On occasions the stars seem to align to bring great chance to a good idea. We at the Preservation Alliance have been fortunate to have engaged a master of design, common sense and skill to provide technical assistance to those historic property owners in Hartford. He is Valerio Giadone an architect and guide for our strategy to work on behalf of community economic development here.
In our strategic plan which was ratified late in 2014 the Preservation Alliance determined to be an historic preservation force: Focusing Priority
To be Hartford’s historic preservation resource and technical assistance hub and develop the organizational structure, partnerships and resources to support it for historic property owners and the City of Hartford so that HPA is relevant, is recognized and acheives mission impact and sustainability.
These are all very goals lofty for a small organization with little capacity to deliver on the promise. With the very generous support of a Capacity Building grant from the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving the Preservation Alliance set out to build a team to achieve its desire. We wanted to be the go-to resource for the 5,300 historic properties in Hartford. In hiring Valerio nearly all our dreams come true. He is a skilled architect with a deep background in working with historic buildings. He has a passion to learn about design and materials which can repair, restore or replicate the features which we associate with appropriate preservation. Yet all the while he is working to keep the budget within workable boundaries.
We in Connecticut are very fortunate to have State Historic Preservation Tax Credits which are financial incentives for property owners and developers to go the extra distance in preserving their properties. Valerio has become expert in navigating the process to apply for and be granted an allocation of credits. This is particularly true with homeowners who can be fearful of working with a state agency. He has become a trusted intermediary for the Hartford Historic Preservation Commission often interpreting how best to achieve a preservation goal. There are many examples of Valerio’s success however the City is most appreciative of his consultation to bring historic tax credit resources to Hartford’s desire to rejuvenate the former Northwest School on Albany Avenue to create the John E. Rogers African American Cultural Center. By engaging the Preservation Alliance and Valerio the City has realized $ 630,000 in additional financial resources otherwise unknown to the project. The testimony from homeowners of the benefit that his guidance has brought to their restoration projects grows daily. Often his steady advice has made the process of petitioning the City for permission to do work on properties far easier and less complicated. He has also saved them money!
So much praise and thanks for making our team demonstrate that “Preservation Matters”. He is the force which makes our work so meaningful in Hartford. Next time you get a chance please thanks him for his work and dedication.