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“Green” partnerships imagined at PNJ Annual Meeting

February 1, 2010

"Just one 'Andrew Jackson' bill from the ATM makes you a PNJ member and partner in our vital preservation work," said new PNJ president Hon. Mary Anna Holden

Welcomed by Congressman Rush Holt, outgoing Preservation New Jersey President John D.S. Hatch and Acting HPO Administrator Dan Saunders, members and friends of PNJ gathered in the historic St. Peter the Apostle Church in downtown New Brunswick on Sat., Jan. 30 for the PNJ Annual Meeting.  Congressman Holt’s call to forge ever stronger partnerships and commitments to save the important “someplaces” that make New Jersey unique set the stage for the information-packed program.

Following a summation by John Hatch of PNJ’s exciting and challenging year just ended – and a preview of the opportunities ahead –  a brief business meeting of the board of directors saw election of two new board members – historic preservation consultant Margaret Newman and outgoing Director of the NJ Council on Affordable Housing Lucy Vandenberg – and new officers: President, the Hon. Mary Anna Holden, Mayor of Madison; Vice-President Larry Plevy of preservation contractors Schtiller & Plevy; Secretary David Knights of Picus Associates; and Treasurer Scot Pannepacker of accounting firm Lear & Pannepacker.

The day’s theme of sustainability, “green” rehab and adaptive use was launched with a presentation and tour of the newly opened Catholic Campus Center in the former Sisters of Charity Convent, adjacent to St. Peter’s Church.  Preservation architect Annabelle Radcliffe-Trenner (Historic Building Architects) gave an overview of recent exterior restoration of the 1856 church (funded in p0art by the NJ Historic Trust). Then she set the stage for discussion of the former convent (1867) preservation and green rehab project, presented by designers Thomas Besold and David Steffihagen of Design Ideas Group architects.

Keynote speaker Jennifer Senick, Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Green Building, spoke about the Center’s recent publication, NJ Green Home Remodeling Guidelines, on which PNJ collaborated as an Advisory Committee member. Senick also elaborated on ongoing research efforts in Life Cycle Assessment and Costing of existing buildings, materials and systems and how the results are benefiting historic rehabilitation and weatherization projects.  The program concluded with extensive discussion among attendees and Ms. Senick about how the historic preservation community can  work more closely with the Center to expand our collective knowledge about how historic buildings function and are used by their owners, residents and tenants in world affected by advancing climate change.  PNJ looks forward to a strengthened partnership with the Center for Green Building.

Thanks to Fr. Tom Odorizzi and St. Peter the Apostle Church, and the Catholic Campus Center for their warm hospitality, to our speakers and tour guides, and to all who attended the PNJ Annual Meeting.

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