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Preservation Services Director

AARCH is Preservation

Job Title: Preservation Services Director

Location of Position:  AARCH offices, Keeseville

Open Until: August 2, 2019

To Apply:  Please send a letter of interest, resume, and any appropriate work/writing samples that might highlight your work experience and skills to the address or email address below.

Steven Engelhart, Executive Director

1745 Main St.

Keeseville, NY 12944

Description and Qualifications

Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) welcomes applications for the position of Preservation Services Director. AARCH is the regional, nonprofit, historic preservation organization for the beautiful and diverse Adirondack region of New York State. Our mission is to further public understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of the Adirondacks’ unique architectural and cultural heritage, communities, and historic sites through educational programs, advocacy, technical assistance, and direct action.  This legacy includes not only the nationally recognized “Great Camps” but also those structures that embody the whole range of human experience in the region, including homes and farmsteads, churches, commercial buildings, town halls, libraries, bridges, railroad buildings, lighthouses, and industrial sites.

AARCH seeks a highly dedicated professional with demonstrated technical, communications, and research skills to join our four-person team. Our Preservation Services Director will be responsible for providing a variety of technical services to historic building owners, nonprofits, and municipalities; cultivating and carrying out fee-for-services work; managing our awards and preservation easement programs; and undertaking other discreet projects – all to fulfill our mission of enhancing public knowledge and encouraging better appreciation and stewardship of the region’s built environment and communities. 

The ideal Preservation Services Director will be: 

  • An individual with demonstrated professional skills and experience in providing technical services and undertaking fee-for-services work. Additional experience with easement and awards programs is desirable but not required.
  • A highly creative, articulate individual who is able to maintain our current level of technical assistance and fee-for-services programs and grow these services through new online offerings and other means.
  • The ideal candidate will have excellent writing, research, communication, and social media skills.
  • A highly collaborative and cooperative individual who is able to work as an intrinsic member of a four-person team to achieve organizational goals.
  • Previous experience in working with the challenges of rural areas (like the Adirondacks) is desirable but not required.
  • An individual with a graduate degree in historic preservation, museum studies, public history, education, or a closely related field.

Applicants with some other dynamic combination of education, training, experience, and personal qualities will also be considered on an individual basis.


Duties and Responsibilities

Working often in conjunction with other AARCH staff and appropriate AARCH board committee members, the Preservation Services Director will:

1. Provide Technical Services to the Public

The PSD will provide technical assistance directly to constituents (individuals, businesses, nonprofit organizations, and municipalities) to further historic preservation projects and programs. These will include, but not be limited to: helping with building conservation problems, identifying sources of funding for preservation projects, doing historical research, mediating disputes between parties over preservation issues, helping to create or helping to nurture nonprofit organizations, and providing information on historic sites surveys and National Register listings.  Some of these will be relatively brief exchanges, such as providing basic information through a single telephone call or email exchange. More in depth assistance could mean site visits and written reports and/or following a project over several years. Some of these may also take the form of developing and offering educational programs which provide technical training and information in a group setting.

The PSD will also do more to advertise these services and to make more technical services information available via AARCH’s website. In general, these services will be offered for free but, in some instances, where longer and deeper engagement is required, these services may involve compensation.  Providing these services is also an opportunity to introduce new people to AARCH and to identify new program and advocacy opportunities. The PSD will also develop and keep a system for tracking and accounting for our technical assistance work.

The goal is to fulfill at least 40 technical assistance requests and to offer several educational programs annually.

2. Cultivate and Undertake Fee-for-Services Work

The PSD will cultivate and undertake fee-for-services work for private clients, including municipalities, nonprofit organizations, and private individuals. These services could include preparing National Register of Historic Places nominations and cultural resource surveys, doing basic conditions assessments, writing rehabilitation standards, house histories, and consulting on projects for architects and engineers.

The PSD will do more to advertise these services through AARCH website, social media and other means and to cultivate paid projects through their technical services work and other means.

The goal is to do at least $12,000 in fee-for-services work annually and to grow this over the next few years.

3. Manage AARCH’s Preservation Easement Program

The PSD will manage AARCH’s preservation easement program which, in 2019, includes five preservation and conservation easements [Hemlock Ledge (Tupper Lake), Lynde-Pease Homestead (Willsboro), Noblewood Gate House (Willsboro), The Castle (Keene), and Northbrook Lodge (Brighton)].  Our responsibilities under the easements include baseline documentation, annual monitoring, and review and approval of plans for alterations.

The PSD will also work to provide information about preservation easements on AARCH’s website and to explore new easement opportunities as they arise.

4. Manage AAARCH’s Awards Program

The PSD will manage AARCH’s annual Preservation Awards program, including soliciting nominations from the public, gathering internal nominations, doing research on nominees, working with the Stewardship Committee to select awardees, help plan the awards luncheon program, and publicize the awardees.

5.  Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • Take primary responsibility for AARCH Endangered Properties Program by tracking endangered properties, providing technical assistance to endangered property owners, bringing public attention to endangered properties, and advocating on their behalf.
  • Provide content for and assist in the preparation of the annual report, quarterly reports, Year-in-Review, newsletter, AARCH eMatters, and other social media vehicles.
  • Participate in AARCH’s public education program (occasionally leading tours, giving lectures).
  • Help create and cultivate a broad network of preservation colleagues and enthusiasts throughout the region, including people providing preservation services, people who are advocacy and programming partners, and people who are involved in local preservation efforts.
  • Keeping all good files and digital records for all PSD programs and activities.
  • Attending board meetings and working with various AARCH board committees to advance their work
  • Assisting the executive director and other staff with special projects
  • Helping in other ways to advance AARCH’s growth and development


Additional Position Details


Applicants should be aware that extensive travel and occasional overtime may be required during the very busy summer months, which typically extend from June 1 to October 1. A vehicle and valid driver’s license is required.

The salary range for this position is $38,000 to $42,000, commensurate with education and experience. The benefits package includes paid health insurance, a 403(b) retirement plan, and generous vacation, holiday, and sick leave allowances. AARCH is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes candidates from diverse backgrounds.

About the Organization

AARCH’s regular activities include: sponsoring a series of summer and fall tours to historic places throughout the region; holding workshops and conferences; giving educational slide presentations; publishing a biannual Newsletter; and providing technical assistance to homeowners, municipalities, businesses and other organizations.  AARCH seeks to find solutions for endangered historic and architectural resources and, for example, was largely responsible for getting the state to change its twenty- year policy of neglect toward Camp Santanoni, a National Historic Landmark, in the Town of Newcomb.  Since then AARCH has overseen planning work, ongoing restoration, and a summer interpretive program there through the Friends of Camp Santanoni.  AARCH has also sought to ensure a future for Adirondack fire towers by nominating them to the National Register of Historic Places and currently by sponsoring and supporting two fire tower preservation projects, the Friends of Poke-O-Moonshine and the Friends of Hurricane Mountain.

AARCH also has a small publishing program, which seeks to publish books and other materials related to the region’s architectural history and legacy. In 2000, AARCH published Santanoni: From Japanese Temple to Life at an Adirondack Great Camp by Rob Engel, Paul Malo and Howie Kirschenbaum. In 2006, AARCH published Adirondack Churches: A History of Design and Building by Sally E. Svenson. In 2017, AARCH published A Guide to Architecture in the Adirondacks by Richard Longstreth.

AARCH also maintains a growing resource center at its office in Keeseville. The collection includes books, other publications, clippings, correspondence and other printed material, photographs, and a collection of more than 5000 slides. The focus of the collection is materials that relate to the region’s architectural heritage, to the study of architectural history, in general, to historic preservation, and on resources on local and regional history. These materials are used by AARCH staff for research, for planning public educational events, for publications, and for providing information to members and others researchers.

AARCH’s 25 years of work and accomplishment was recognized in 2015 when the National Trust for Historic Preservation awarded AARCH the prestigious Trustee’s Award for Organizational Excellence.   

AARCH is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit corporation and a registered New York State charitable institution.