Theses (Historic Preservation)

Document Type

Thesis or dissertation

Date of this Version



Suggested Citation:

Cushing, Andrew (2016). The Schoolhouse Problem: New Solutions for Preserving Historic and Obsolete Buildings in Rural New Hampshire. (Masters Thesis). University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA.


What options exist for public or nonprofit stewards of historic buildings in rural New Hampshire to re-use their properties for purposes other than museums? Over 200 historical societies exist in the Granite State, and of those, more than 40 own or manage multiple properties. These buildings – often schoolhouses, Grange halls, churches, etc. – are seldom open to the public and can be burdensome for volunteer-based organizations like historical societies that operate on small budgets. This thesis examined alternative solutions in rural communities, solutions that return a building to usefulness without compromising character-defining features. Case studies derived from conversations with various rural historical societies, local government officials, and statewide leaders in historic preservation.


New Hampshire, adaptive reuse, historical society, historic preservation, New England



Date Posted: 31 May 2016