Preservation Easement Strategies
A legal instrument is available for a homeowner to provide oversight and preservation of painted walls in the future. By donating funds to a grant created by qualified preservation organizations, the owners have succeeded in protecting what they value, the original artistic endeavors of early artisans on their painted plaster walls, in their original settings, for the future.
1- Historic New England has a preservation easement program, called The Stewardship Program that protects privately-owned properties through the use of legal tools called preservation easements or preservation restrictions. Historic New England’s Stewardship program partners with the property owner to ensure the historic house and landscape is protected for future generations. This is accomplished when the homeowner donates a preservation restriction to Historic New England to protect the property’s exterior and interior historic features from incompatible alteration, neglect and demolition while allowing the property to be lived in.
2- The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance has a Preservation Easement program that protects property for future generations by creating an individually crafted preservation easement for the property. It is designed to protect historic resources and provides an easement written specifically to protect the paint-decorated plaster in the home. This prevents future owners from moving walls, painting out the painted decoration and changing the interior and exterior structure of the house. It is protection for the decoration in perpetuity.
http://www.nhpreservation.org/store-a-downloads/downloads.html select “What does a preservation easement protect?”
With an easement on land you can observe changes to it by driving past or flying over it. With an easement on the interior of a house a violation could take place very quickly without anyone knowing about it. These preservation easements protect against that by imposing a huge financial penalty. As in the Historic New England program, the donors are asked to contribute towards a stewardship fund that will finance the handling of the easement in perpetuity. Scheduled visits are conducted each year to check on the property.