Ask the Experts: For Lovers and Owners of Historic Houses

WHALE and the The Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum (RJD) have partnered to present a new series of programs about historic houses and the often-intimidating maintenance and restoration projects they require. The series takes place in the RJD parlors and kicks off on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 5:30pm.

This three-part series will feature informative presentations from New Bedford City representatives, a preservation consultant, and professionals with hands-on experience working with historic homes. Participants will hear about best practices, processes, and resources and gain insight into preserving an older home.

The speaker on January 30 is Anne Louro, Assistant City Planner & Preservation Planner for the City of New Bedford. She will talk about historic homes, historic districts, and resources within the city of New Bedford.

The series continues with Jeff Gonyeau, Historic Preservation Consultant, on February 27 and Diana Henry, WHALE Board President and New Bedford Historic Commission member and New Bedford historic homeowner, on March 26. All programs start at 5:30pm.

Individuals can register for a single program, or the series. The fee is $8 for RJD or WHALE Members and $12 for other members of the public. The series price (for all three) is $20 for Members and $30 for others. For more information or to register, visit the Museum’s website,

To download a copy of the Historic Homeowner Resources, click here.

The resource guide will be updated throughout the series.

To view WHALE’s Local Contractor List, click here.


Past Events we’ve enjoyed

“Hometown” Author’s Talk & Book Signing with John K. Bullard

Co-Sponsored by WHALE and the Rotch-Jones-Duff House & Garden Museum

Tuesday, September 26, 2023 , Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum 


2023 Annual Meeting

2023 Annual Meeting, June 28th, 5:00 – 7:00
Rotch-Jones-Duff House and Garden Museum

Community Conversation – WHALE hosted a community conversation via Zoom on our Neighborhood Revitalization Program for community stakeholders to gain a deeper understanding of our organization and have a voice in future WHALE projects. This specific program restores vacant and deteriorated historic properties to preserve the character of New Bedford’s historic neighborhoods and create affordable housing and homeownership opportunities. At this meeting, WHALE board and staff shared the history of WHALE, our current projects, and information on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Abandoned Housing Initiative.

Hillman Firehouse Community Meeting – A meeting was held via Zoom to discuss WHALE’s plans for the Hillman Firehouse located at 109 Hillman Street.

Community Conversation – Location:  Seamen’s Bethel 1st Floor, 15 Johnny Cake Hill, New Bedford, MA. Come meet WHALE’s new Outreach Coordinator, Eldric Abreu, and learn about WHALE’s current projects. Exchange information and give input on community preservation work in New Bedford’s historic neighborhoods. Join in collaborating with fellow residents in our city for future WHALE projects. Refreshments served!

Virtual Historic Hooplah with WHALE – Cultivating Colors – WHALE’s first ever virtual event brought together an awesome group of speakers, including WHALE staff, Sherwin-Williams, and Anne Louro the Preservation Planner for the City of New Bedford, to share their expertise on historic colors, important tips, and services available.

Masquerade Beaux Arts Ball- Celebrating the successful restoration of the beautiful and historic 148 Hawthorn Street with a festive and fun masquerade ball.

Legacy Dinner- Elegant sit-down cocktail hour and dinner to honor WHALE’s contributors over the years and raise funds for its future.

Annual Meeting- A night where guests can learn about WHALE’s previous and current projects as well as distinguished, nominated individuals and organizations who are awarded our preservation awards.

Nostalgia Nights – View WHALE’s photo collection and listen to historic era music.

Architectural Bingo – Win prizes, learn and test your architectural lingo.

“Historic Paints and Finishes” – Lectures in honor of Historic Preservation Month.

Kid’s Rule Scavenger Hunt Search for historic architectural details on downtown New Bedford’s historic buildings. Discover which historic buildings WHALE has saved over the last 50 years. Win a prize!

Build a historic house from the WHALE’s “Towers, Turrets, & Tenements” book- Receive one of these great books illustrated by Arthur Moniz. Children get to choose and put together a particular architectural style seen in and around New Bedford and decorate Christmas style while learning about their city’s cultural heritage.

Site Visits of Current Projects- On select nights WHALE has opened up a restoration in progress for a “peak in” of its plans and development timeline. Current sites include the Co-Creative Center and First Baptist Church.

Open House- On select nights, prior to the open of the lottery process, WHALE has invited community members to view the completed, renovated homes that are part of our first-time homebuyer program.