The N.H. Land and Community Investment Program has awarded $176,000 to the Northern Forest Center to support its renovation of the historic 11,000-square-foot Parker J. Noyes building in Lancaster.
“We’re very grateful to the LCHIP board for supporting this ambitious project,” said Rob Riley, president of the Northern Forest Center. “We’re bringing back this historic gem to contribute to the vibrancy of Lancaster’s Main Street and economy.”
Beginning in the late 1800s, the building was home to Parker J. Noyes Pharmaceutical Company, which developed the sugar-coated pill and an automated machine to form, coat and cut tablets at the rate of 5,000 pills per hour. The company evolved into manufacturing animal feed and moved to another location in Lancaster in the 1980s, where its successor, Trividia, still operates.
The New Hampshire Preservation Alliance listed the Noyes building on its “Seven to Save” list in 2017 due to the building’s historical significance.
The Center is renovating the building to help position Lancaster as a hub for growth in the North Country, to attract and retain the next generation of families and leaders committed to creating a vibrant future for the town.
The renovated first floor will provide a new home for Lancaster's Root Seller Marketplace, which provides access to healthy local foods from more than 50 local growers and producers, as well as North Country Gleaners. The new space will enable Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center, the nonprofit organization that operates the Root Seller and North Country Gleaners, to expand its programming and operate a commercial kitchen.
The upper floors will be remodeled to create six downtown apartments that should be attractive to professionals and young families seeking to live on Main Street.
The Center purchased the building in 2018 and listed it on the NH State Register of Historic Places, and is working with a historical consultant and Alba Architects of North Woodstock to preserve as much of the building’s historical character as possible. The Center has hired Garland Mill Timber Frames of Lancaster to act as construction manager for the renovation, which will help concentrate the economic benefits of this extensive project in the North Country.
The project has attracted local and statewide support. Other partners to date include: Town of Lancaster; Root Seller Marketplace and Taproot Farm & Environmental Education Center; Cloutier Redevelopment, LLC; Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation; NH Division of Historical Resources; NH Community Development Finance Authority; Mascoma Bank Foundation; Eversource Utilities; Trividia Manufacturing Solutions; USDA Rural Development; NH Preservation Alliance; Coos County Economic Development; You Have Our Trust; and Northern Forest Center Lancaster Advisory Group.
The Center has secured significant financing for this $2-million project, using a mix of state and federal tax credits, public and foundation grants, charitable gifts and impact investments.