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Committee for Stewardship and Long Range Planning Report

Minutes

Special Advisory Committee for Stewardship and Long Range Planning

Report to Meeting for Business, Tenth Month

 

The Committee met on September 24, October 2, and October 13, 2007.

 

The members of the Committee are: David Giltrow, Frank Hirsch, John Kretzmann, Bettina Raphael, Beverly Busching (Convener).

 

Our Charge

The first meeting began with a review of and discussion of the charge to the committee. It appears that Ministry and Oversight (approved by Business Meeting) intended this committee to be an information gathering group to support visioning of the future of the Meeting. Emphasis is on the physical housing of the Meeting, guided by the spiritual aspirations and concerns of the Meeting. Perhaps the future planning process has slowed because of lack of information about alternative possibilities, making it hard to think creatively and thoughtfully together. Our group can provide that grounding of information.

 

An important part of the Stewardship and Long Range Planning Committee’s charge is to help the Meeting address or reconcile two concerns:

a) the physical needs of the Meeting for an adequate and appropriate gathering space for spiritual worship, educational facilities, and other community activities, and

b) responsibility for the care, management and preservation of Olive Rush’s bequest: the historic building, gardens, furnishings and artwork.

 

We felt that, as our work begins, we need to keep in mind that our initial ideas and plans should be open to change as we work, and as the Meeting’s visioning continues. Our outcomes should be much richer than what we start with.

 

Documents

We have obtained and are reviewing three kinds of documents:

• the threshing and visioning meetings summaries,

• Olive Rush’s will and associated documents

• several documents that analyze the bequest documents from a legal standpoint.

 

Initial List of Alternatives for the Physical Housing of the Meeting

Led by David Giltrow, we listed a variety of possibilities for future housing of the Meeting as a way to organize an approach to our work. These are gleaned from possibilities discussed in the visioning/threshing meetings, plus a few additions. We will gather pertinent information about each alternative.

 

The alternatives are as follows:

 

1. Remain in our present building, and seek funding to share the cost of historic preservation. We could make somewhat different use of the casita and guest apartment to increase available meeting space, yet continue income for repairs.

 

2. Remain in our present building, and create a linked foundation to seek funding and manage income producing activities, repairs, and preservation.

 

3. Remain in our present building, and build an additional building in the garden or expand the Ramada (probably also including fundraising and/or a foundation).

 

4. Remain in control of our present property, but put buildings to a different Quakerly use, such as longterm rentals, peace center, gallery oriented to our values. Income would support rental of another property for our use (probably also including fundraising and/or a foundation).

 

5. Release the property to the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, and lease it back from them. (They would take over all repairs and renovation).

 

6. Release the property to the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, and find an alternative property to share, lease, or buy. (probably also including fundraising)

 

7. Release the property to the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, and build a new building in another part of town. (probably also including fundraising)

 

Committee Activities in October

We are in the process of setting up a meeting with the Historic Santa Fe Foundation.

They have been a long term ally of ours, and have kept in touch with alterations and repairs to the building. They would be consulted by the Santa Fe Historic Preservation Board if we were to apply for alterations to the present property. They also can be strong allies assisting us in considering alternatives and seeking funding.

 

We listed some questions we want to ask: Given our need for additional space and our desire to preserve the historic character of the property, are there any creative ways we can partner with them (such as using part of the Zaguan for our committee meetings). Are they interested in any use of the building at present? If we release the building to them, are there alternative arrangements that might provide benefits to the Meeting? Are there ways to alter the buildings to better meet our needs? If we were to seek other housing for the Meeting, are there alternatives in the use of the Meetinghouse?

 

Future Activities

We also want to meet soon with the trustees of the Meeting, Cornerstones (a non-profit that supports with technical expertise preservation of adobe structures through local community effort), and the NM Historic Preservation Office. An advantage of talking with these organizations is that our situation and concerns will become known in the preservation network, perhaps resulting in assistance we have not anticipated.

 

Various possibilities were discussed informally. Carolyn Sigstedt Stephenson might be a resource for understanding the status of historic buildings. More legal advice will be needed. David Henkel has possibly done some work toward a linked foundation. David Giltrow is familiar with this concept through his work with the NM Library association and its Foundation. Beverly Busching will contact Deacon Anthony Trujillo at the Santuario de Guadalupe about their experience with a Foundation. We need to clarify our ownership of the property. We have not found a deed.

 

Beverly Busching agreed to be convener of the committee, with assistance from others.

 

B Busching, convener

 

 

 

From: "BETTINA RAPHAEL" <bettinaraphael@msn.com>

Date: November 11, 2007 6:16:34 PM MST

To: "bbusching" <bbusching@mindspring.com>, "David Giltrow" <dgiltrow@cybermesa.com>, "Frank Hirsch" <efhirsch@aol.com>, "john Kretzmann" <jkretzmann@yahoo.com>

Subject: New info for Stewardship Committee

 

Dear Friends: 

 

I have had a lot of interesting contacts over the past few weeks and wanted to share some of the information I have learned with you before our meeting this Tuesday at the Zaguan on Canyon Road with the Historic Santa Fe Foundation.  We probably won't have much time to talk amongst ourselves about any of these revelations and questions and I hope we can plan a future meeting soon to discuss in greater detail.

 

While in Houston in mid October, I met with a member of the Monthly Meeting of Houston, Hiram Butler, who was very active in helping to plan and raise money for their new meetinghouse with its "light artwork" of a retractable roof.  He is currently working with a Meeting in Pennsylvania on fundraising for a new facility.  He is not only a Quaker but an Art Gallery owner with a great deal of enthusiasm and dynamic ideas.  He may be interested in helping our Meeting plan for our facility/preservation needs and funding.  He hopes to visit Santa Fe and our Meeting sometime soon.

 

I mentioned to Molly Vaux, convener of the Residence Committee, that we were discussing options for future uses of the Guest Apartment and the Ramada/Casita.  I suggested that before committing to have Peg Martin remain on for a third year as Resident, the Residence Committee needed to keep in contact with our Stewardship Committee.   Molly has come back with a request for us to consider.  First, since Peg would like to remain for a 3rd year, the Residence Committee would appreciate our letting them know as soon as possible if there is a decision not to have a Resident in the Ramada after the end of Peg's second year (beginning of Sept. 2008).  And further, the Residence Committee at Peg's request, is asking that any change in the current arrangement wait until beginning of Sept. 2009 when she would leave.  

 

On Nov. 9th, I met with David Rasch, head of the City of Santa Fe's Historic Planning Department.  He was very pleased to hear that we are looking more critically at how best to preserve the Olive Rush Studio and exploring various options.   I posed several of the important questions our Committee has raised and here are his answers:

1.  He said that his office and the Historic Review Board is focused on the exterior of historic buildings and has no oversight over the interior of a building.  Thus, they would not stop us from making alterations such as moving of interior walls or changing of interior finishes.

2.  Thus, if the exterior front of the Meeting at the garage was not altered, that space could be enclosed and connected to the Meeting Main Room, if that was physically realistic.   Also the wall between the Guest Apartment and the Meeting room could be opened up, if this were structurally realistic.   This does not mean that either of these is an ideal solution to our needs or to respecting the historic integrity of the building, however it does mean that it is  a legal option.

3. When I asked if the Ramada/Casita in the garden could be altered, he checked the historic status of this guesthouse and found that it has not been included in the historic designation of the main building and thus theoretically could be added on to or altered.  He did say that if we came up with a proposal, it would involve a re-evaluation of the status of the guesthouse to make sure that that building is not "contributing" or "significant" to the historic nature of the property.

4. When I asked if he knew of any restrictions on the Meeting building a free-standing structure in the garden, David Rasch said that such a structure could not exceed a certain size (% based on lot size) and would have to conform to criteria of the historic district.  He did think that parking requirements might be a problem in getting a building permit and he was unaware if there were any conditions in Olive Rush's will or in the formal designation of the property on the Historic Register that would "protect" the garden from being significantly altered.  He did suggest that the Historic Santa Fe Foundation, as the next in line to inherit the property, might have some objection to building in the garden and that they might be offered an "easement" on the property in exchange for allowing us to build. 

 

David Rasch offered any help we may need in exploring options and seeking funding for preservation and building projects. 

  If anyone has specific questions or comments about these points, please communicate them to all of us.  I would hope we could respond to the Residence Committee fairly soon and there is obviously a need for other discussions.

 

Bettina 

 

 

 

 

Ad Hoc Committee on Stewardship and Long Range Planning

Report on Meeting with Historic Santa Fe Foundation, November 13, 2007

 

Present were Beverly Busching, John Kretzmann, Bettina Raphael, and David Giltrow from our committee, and Elaine Bergman, Graciela Tome, Mac Watson, and Richard Marquez from the Foundation.

 

 

The Foundation has been a long time ally of ours, and they have kept in touch with alterations and repairs to the building. We met with 3 people from their board and the executive director. They asked insightful questions to understand our needs and hopes for the future. In a productive conversation, we discussed the possibility of alterations to the present property, seeking funding, and ways to work together.

 

The Foundation presently owns 8 historic buildings. They are all in use in various ways, providing income for the Foundation for maintaining the structures and for staffing. The Foundation does not hold buildings as “museums” but converts them for contemporary use mostly as residences. The Foundation has an interest in preserving historic buildings in Santa Fe, and provides a watchful and supportive presence for buildings that it does not own, such as our Meetinghouse. In some cases, the Foundation is able to enforce a “preservation easement” to protect historic properties over time that it does not own.

 

1. Sharing space on Sunday mornings (especially to meet our need for extra space for discussions and committee meetings).

Elaine will look into the possibility of our using the Foundation’s building on Canyon Road, the Zaguan on Sundays, but it is a problem, as Sunday is the only day for which the Zaguan is a private space for the residents and they cherish this privacy.

 

2. Alternative spaces for the Meeting. The Foundation members asked helpful clarifying questions about what kind of space and what the needed square footage would be for a new Meetinghouse. They also asked if it were possible to solve the space needs by holding more meeting times.

 

3. Adding to existing buildings and/or new construction.

We questioned the possibility of options to add or change the Meetinghouse to gain more space in the main meeting room. The Foundation questioned how much space could realistically be gained and expressed concern about altering the integrity of the historic structure.

 

If we were to expand the Casita (called ‘ramada’), we might have additional space. At this time it is not on the plat or listed with the city Historic Preservation Board; however, a request for a building permit and the O.K. from the Historic Review Board would surely require a new survey and could result in the Casita being listed as a historic structure. We could only expand the footprint by 50%. The Casita at present has zero setback from the property line, so we could not extend the building along this line. The Foundation, like the Meeting, respects the uniqueness of the Casita and would hate to see the integrity of the building violated.

 

If it were possible to build a new building in the backyard, it would bring up several challenges. For example, the city would certainly require parking space for the 70 or so people that we would plan to accommodate. (Any building permit would raise questions about added parking). (Note: David Giltrow suggests that a formal arrangement with the Compound for parking might be a possibility.) There is an alley on the side that might give access to the back of our property but we would have to get some approval or easement from out neighbors. The Foundation pointed out that any construction would have to meet “commercial building” criteria as well as the style regulations of the Historic Review Board. The Foundation board members who are architects working with historic buildings, Richard Marquez and Graciela Tome, expressed interest in working with us on any construction plans.

 

4. Documents.

We were surprised to learn that the Foundation has a thick file at hand related to the history of Olive Rush Studio as well as various changes to our buildings, and has sent to the State Library other files on the Meetinghouse.

 

A question arose as to the status of the Agreement between the Meeting and Olive Rush – Is it notarized? Was it ever registered with the Court as part of the probate?

Olive Rush used Tom Donatelli (referred to as Donnelly in some documents) as her attorney. His son Mark has continued the legal practice and needs to be asked if the office has any of our original documents. Foundation members agreed that we should seek legal clarification of our ownership.

 

4. Sources of Funding for Building Preservation and New Construction. One option brought up by the Foundation was to increase our income from use of our buildings. Elaine Bergman pointed out that the Foundation charges much more than we do for smaller rooms than our guest apt, and we could certainly raise our rates if we choose. Also we could rent the guest apartment long term, eliminating need for constant cleaning, arrangements, etc. Question: Is the apartment now up to code? She also suggested Meetinghouse rental for concerts, art exhibits, historic tours.

 

Application for grant and other kinds of preservation funding was briefly discussed noting that federal funding for a “liturgical property” would be difficult. However, private foundations, donors and even some historic preservation programs could be very helpful. Mac Watson specifically brought up the national program “Save America’s Treasures” which gives large grants and could be approached for the preservation of the Olive Rush Studio as an historic house.

 

5. Turning over the Meetinghouse to the Foundation.

The Foundation, if they owned it, would not maintain it as a ‘museum’ with Olive Rush’s furniture and artifacts in it. They would rent it out for some use. We were surprised to hear this. They suggested that we could raise money by the sale of Olive’s furnishings, etc, but the continuance of the building as a historic painting studio would be lost.

 

Considering that we might want to raise money for construction or a new building, there was a long discussion of how we could generate greater interest in Olive Rush (and thereby increase the historic and artistic recognition as well as the value of the property and furnishings). They offered the possibility of sharing with us a “campaign” to call attention to the importance of Olive Rush as a painter and influential resident of Santa Fe.

 

 

 

 

Ad Hoc Committee for Stewardship and Long Range Planning

Report to Meting for Worship for Business

January 20, 2008

 

Members: David Giltrow, Frank Hirsch, John Kretzmann, Bettina Raphael, Jennifer Wellington, and Beverly Busching, convener.

 

During December and January, the committee continued its charge to gather useful information on various alternatives for the present Meetinghouse and for another location that would enable the Meeting to better realize its values and goals (as expressed in threshing and visioning meetings during the last two years).

The main activity was a meeting with the trustees of the Meeting (David Henkel, Elliot Skinner, Jennifer Wellington) and Ford Robbins, who has been involved with proposals regarding the Meetinghouse through the years. The purpose was to clarify the meaning of various documents related to the legal status of the property and proposed actions in past years. In a productive conversation, past actions were discussed, documents were reviewed, and the charge to the committee clarified.

We were satisfied that the Santa Fe Meeting has clear ownership of the property, and agreed that we should finish the “title commitment” process that was begun in 1989 with Stewart Title Co.

The committee offers two recommendations to the Meeting:

1. Complete the title search to document our clear title to the property. Frank Hirsch contacted Stewart Title Co., and they will do this for $50.00, which Frank has offered to pay for as an in-kind contribution to the Meeting.

 

2. Plan for a series of Visioning Meetings in the spring to continue the process of thinking together about our future and the kind of building/space that would support it. By March our committee should have information on a variety of alternatives that will assist Friends in assessing possibilities for the near and more distant future. If in this process Friends might come to unity on the usefulness of pursuing a few alternatives, the Committee would focus on background information for those alternatives.

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