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The Eastern Massachusetts Circuit Rider

As you may already know, the Circuit Rider Program was launched in 2008 and placed part-time professionals “in the field” to assist with preservation issues. These Circuit Riders are tasked with bringing the programs, services, knowledge, and resources of PM to aid community-based preservation activity statewide. They meet with people in various communities, especially those areas of our state who are currently underserved in terms of preservation expertise, and assist in successful preservation outcomes for projects big and small.

In 2014 Stacia Caplanson came on board as our Western Mass Circuit Rider and has done a fantastic job assisting those communities within her purview. But the Preservation Massachusetts team still felt the need to have a Circuit rider covering the Eastern portion of the state as well.

With that, I am excited to tell you that we have our newest circuit rider joining the Preservation Massachusetts team. Jeffrey Gonyeau, who will be filling the position of the Eastern Mass circuit rider, is a well-informed and motivated preservation professional that has previously been a preservation consultant. We are grateful to now have Jeff join us and are very pleased that we can, once again, cover the whole Commonwealth with preservation assistance.

As well as supporting PM’s advocacy and education efforts, Jeff is also an independent historic preservation consultant since 2013, focusing on preservation planning, fundraising, and project management for his private, non-profit, and municipal clients. Recent projects with which he has been involved include the comprehensive preservation of All Saints, Ashmont, in Boston’s Dorchester neighborhood. (All Saints is the first major commission of noted architect Ralph Adams Cram, and is recognized as a major monument of Gothic Revival religious architecture in America.)

From 2001 to 2013, Jeff worked at Historic Boston Incorporated (HBI), a non-profit, project-oriented preservation organization. Jeff served HBI in many capacities, first as the steward of HBI’s historic properties in downtown Boston and in Roxbury. He managed several renovation projects on HBI’s own properties as well as the rehabilitation of other historic structures in Boston. Jeff coordinated the preparation of preservation and redevelopment feasibility studies for several endangered structured, and for some time he oversaw and monitored compliance on properties subject to HBI’s preservation easement program. He also worked with several Boston religious congregations through HBI’s Steeples Project. After extensive involvement in the development of HBI’s Historic Neighborhood Centers Program-an initiative that catalyzes economic revitalization in neighborhood commercial districts by undertaking historic preservation and real estate development projects-he became Senior Program Manager for the program in October 2007. Jeff also served as HBI’s Acting Executive Director from September 2006 through May 2007.

A graduate of Hamilton College, Jeff also has master’s degrees from Smith College and New York University, and has taken real estate development and finance classes at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, MIT’s Center for Real Estate, and Boston University. In 2015 he completed Historic New England’s Program in New England Studies (PINES). Jeff resides in Dorchester, where he is active in community development and preservation organizations and serves on the board of directors of the Dorchester Historical Society and St. Mark’s Area Main Streets.

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