N.H. Preservation Alliance Recognizes PSU Students and Faculty with “Young Preservationist” Award for Berlin, N.H. Mural Project

October 26th, 2011 by blyndes

Murals produced by PSU students displayed at the Brown Company R & D Building in Berlin, N.H.

Plymouth, N.H. – The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has recognized 12 Plymouth State University art students and faculty advisor Tom Driscoll for their role in beautifying and preserving an endangered, historic Berlin, N.H., industrial building. The students designed, produced and installed 24 mural panels over damaged windows (removed for repair) at Brown Company R & D Building. The mural project transforms the building’s appearance and helps tell the story of the development and impact of what was the largest paper manufacturer in the world and also depicts key aspects of Berlin’s cultural history and heritage.  Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance, said
the PSU contingent is among group a of 15 individuals and student groups, ages 25 and younger, who are being recognized by the Alliance for helping investigate, preserve and promote the state’s heritage on the occasion of the Alliance’s 25th anniversary.

“Historic preservation activity is often seen as the purview of established practitioners or older volunteers,” said Jennifer Goodman, executive director of the Preservation Alliance. “But in fact, even in our world of instant-messaging technology and global connections, young people
in New Hampshire are committed to history and celebrating and protecting special places.”

PSU’s Center for Rural Partnership’s Coös County Outreach Initiative (supported by the Neil & Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation) brought together individuals from the public and private sectors to contribute to this project while creating educational opportunities for PSU students and faculty. PSU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Julie Bernier, noted the mural project embodies the institution’s commitment to supporting northern New Hampshire communities.

“A project like the Coos County Outreach Initiative taps into the intellectual resources that a University has to offer in supporting the region,” said Bernier. “This is a wonderful example of the University and community coming together.”

The 768 square-foot mural, composed of 4’ by 8’ paintings, was installed this past July as restoration work begins on the nearly century-old building, which is nationally significant as one of the earliest privately owned industrial R&D facilities in the United States. Within its walls, Brown Company scientists pioneered innovations in the wood pulp and paper industries, transforming the use of forest products and enhancing the value and productivity of forests across New England and the world.

The announcement of the award was made at an event in Concord inaugurating the first History Week celebration in New Hampshire.

For more information about this release, contact Bruce Lyndes, PSU News Services Mgr., (603) 535-2775.