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.
Rebecca Reese - president
Rebecca joined the board in 2012 and has been active with the Education Committee and served as the chair of the Homes Tour Committee for the last two years. She earned her Master's degree in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and has worked in the preservation field in a variety of ways. She also serves the Burlington community by working for the Sara Holbrook Community Center as the Site Director of After School at Hunt Middle School in the New North End. In her free time, Rebecca likes to hike, ski, and enjoy Burlington's vibrant community
Karl Lukhaup - vice president
Karl is a restoration craftsman who found his work after riding his bicycle across the country from Oregon in 2005. Starting in the field of timber frame carpentry he has worked in a lead role on a variety of historic trades including plaster repair, trim work, window restoration, roofing, siding repair and the jacking and stabilization of historic structures. He has completed graduate level course work in Historic Preservation, and currently runs his own business doing historic restoration in the Burlington community. When not teaching workshops or coordinating tours and lectures for Preservation Burlington's Education Committee, he is often outside riding his bicycle, rowing his guide boat, or playing the euphonium in a radical Balkan street band. He has served on the board since 2011.
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.
Karyn Norwood - secretary
Karyn joined the board in 2015, after creating a historic architecture toolkit for PB as part of her graduate coursework. Active on the Education Committee, she's especially interested in education and outreach concerning local history and architecture. Karyn holds an M.S. in Historic Preservation from UVM and works as a librarian/archivist for the university's libraries.
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.
Devin is the State Architectural Historian at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. He earned his MA in Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont, and wrote his thesis on modernist houses in Chittenden County. This led to the creation of the website www.vermontmodern.com to document modernist architecture throughout Vermont. Devin and his family live in a historic 1956 ranch house in the south end of Burlington.
Britta Fenniman Tonn
Britta joined the board in 2012. She has coordinated PB's walking tour program since 2010, an activity which merges her background and interest in education, historic preservation, and local history. Britta currently works as an architectural historian for EBI Consulting, an environmental consulting firm. Britta also works with the Church Street Marketplace to prepare historical reports and plaques for downtown Burlington buildings, teaches piano lessons to young children, and serves on the Winooski Planning Commission. A native New Yorker, Britta has lived full-time in Vermont since 2005 and spends much of her free time slowly repairing her 1860s vernacular home in Winooski.
Connie grew up in Vermont and has lived in Burlington since 2010. She earned her master's degree from UVM in historic preservation, and now spends her time fretting about change.
Liisa Reimann Rivera
Originally from England, Liisa has lived in Burlington since 2006. She earned her Master's in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and is a principal with Blue Brick Preservation. Liisa lives in a 1954 ranch house, whose historic wooden windows she thinks are of a genius design seldom seen since, in Burlington's New North End. 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.
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.
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.
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.