PORTSMOUTH – From his work to help save and restore local landmark Carey Cottage to leading efforts to help local restaurants design a plan to survive the pandemic, JSA Design has kept an eye on how it can help the community.
And this commitment to the community has earned him high praise in recent months.
Earlier this month, the NH Preservation Alliance, in announcing its 12 statewide awards for excellence, cited the Carey Cottage at 400 Little Harbor Road in Portsmouth and the work done by JSA and others.
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Once the target of demolition, the 19th century structure is now a fully rehabilitated mixed-use space that continues to be a prime example of the so-called ‘arts and crafts’ style made famous by the architect of Boston Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow, Jr. (1854 -1934).
Prior to recognition from the State Preservation Alliance, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) New Hampshire presented its 2021 Rick and Duffy Monahon Merit Award for Design Excellence in Architectural Restoration and Preservation to JSA for his work Carey Cottage.
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JSA Company of the Year
And, in the same spirit of community service, BusinessNH Magazine in its May issue recognized JSA as Company of the Year: Construction Services, in large part for its “expertise in helping restaurants survive the pandemic.”
âAt JSA, we take pride in the local community and are committed to supporting it as much as possible,â said North Sturtevant, Director and CEO. âThe 2021 Company of the Year award was for everything we gave back to the community during the darkest days of the pandemic. Now that the pandemic is drawing to a close, we can look back with pride at the difference we have helped to make.
Tracy Kozak, director of JSA Design and project manager for the work of Carey Cottage, points out the intricacies of her music room, which she describes as “unmatched in this country”. The linenfold paneling reproduces the palace of King Henry VIII in England. The frescoes are copies of works from the 15th century.
Portsmouth as a “music scene” started there, according to Kozak.
âThis music room itself is amazing, it’s beautiful and the rest of the house is well done too. This is what he represents in terms of the golden age and the birth of the art movement in Portsmouth, âsaid Kozak. âAppreciating the arts is so important to the identity of Portsmouth, and it really started there.
In 1905, at Carey Cottage, Arthur Astor Carey and Agnes Carey hosted members of the Russian and Japanese delegations attending a peace conference in Portsmouth to end the Russo-Japanese War.
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Carey Cottage is now home to GoodWork, a non-profit incubator that currently houses the Blue Ocean Society for Marine Conservation, Conservation Law Foundation, Friends of Lafayette House, Hospice Help Foundation, LoisLab, and Seacoast Village Project as for-profit tenants. non-profit. In addition, there are six one-bedroom apartments for people who work for these organizations.
The property along Sagamore Creek near the Piscataqua River, known as Creek Farm, is owned by the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests, bequeathed by Carey’s descendants. In March 2018, the Forest Society said one of three outcomes had to happen because it did not have the funds to maintain the building: demolition, finding a long-term tenant, or researching of funds to save only the music room.
Public outcry and fundraising to save the historic structure has evolved into the effort to save it, rehabilitate it and use it not only as a home for nonprofits and as a home for working people. in non-profit organizations, but as a gathering place for the public. in the conference room, the training room, the porch by the water’s edge and, of course, the music room, designed as an entertainment space.
Over the years, the NH Preservation Alliance has recognized individuals, organizations and businesses for rehabilitation and restoration projects as well as public policy, education and planning initiatives. Regarding the Carey Cottage project, he cited “GoodWork for the Rescue and Adaptive Use of the Carey Cottage at Creek Farm, Portsmouth Carey Cottage, one of the earliest examples of Gilded Age shingle style architecture in New Hampshire. , has been completely rehabilitated by new investors to house offices for non-profit start-ups on the first floor and residential apartments on the second floor. “
Partners on the project included Portsmouth Advocates, a preservation group that fought to save the building, as well as JSA Design, Chinburg Properties (the general contractor), Altus Engineering and the Society for the Protection of NH Forests.
âHonestly, JSA was just a drop in the bucket,â Kozak said. âThe real effort came from Richard Candee and the Portsmouth Advocates who have been tireless for decades in trying to save this house.
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Kozak said JSA’s job is to ensure the building meets current people safety codes (alarms, sprinklers, etc.) as well as roof and wall integrity, disabled access, the restoration of the interior to its old chandelier and the reconfiguration of the living space in the apartments.
The jurors for the AIA NH award said: âThe jury appreciated the sensitive restoration and adaptation of the original structure and the literal removal of the layers that took away its original structure (Carey Cottage). We appreciate the sensitive touch, the attention to detail and the care taken in the restoration, especially the interior. It was a great job.
Recognition from Business NH Magazine has mainly focused on JSA’s work to keep restaurants afloat when the pandemic closed restaurants inside.
JSA representatives were part of the Portsmouth Design Professionals Alliance, a team of architects, engineers, planners and other experts who came up with solutions on safe restoration practices that included outdoor seating in areas not normally fitted out for the outdoors.
The dynamism of alfresco dining is something Sturtevant hopes to continue, even after pandemic restrictions have eased and people are returning indoors.
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âThere is a lot of passion among our people here to support our community,â North said in the magazine article.
As Kozak also noted in the AIA NH Award Description: âThe restoration of Carey Cottage has been an incredibly meaningful project for JSA Design. This historic building is the backbone of Portsmouth. Ensuring the safety, utility and sustainability of this building in the future reinforces our commitment to community heritage and cultural resources. We are very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this visionary team.