2016 Maine Preservation Honor Awards
Augusta, Ella R. Hodgkins Intermediate School
Constructed in the 1950s as part of Augusta’s comprehensive program to accommodate rising numbers of school-age children and built with quintessential postwar design and construction, this institution was closed in 2009. It’s now been rehabilitated while maintaining much of its original design and offers forty-seven affordable ADA accessible apartments for the city’s seniors.
Augusta, Kennebec Courthouse
The highly decorated ceremonial courtroom on the second floor of the Kennebec County Courthouse was part of an 1885 addition to the building. Active use of the room ceased in the 1970s because the space no longer met building codes. Now, the ornate landmark in the state’s capital, a unique example of 1890s courtroom design, has been stabilized and restored to its civic role, made safer and more secure, and reopened to the public.
Biddeford, St. Andre’s
St. Andre’s Convent is part of a one-time Roman Catholic parish complex that stood at the center of French-Canadian life in Biddeford for over a century, before being closed in 2009. Acquired by the Biddeford Housing Authority, it’s now known as Mission Hill, a housing complex that seeks to stabilize one of the city’s low-income neighborhoods. An over $5 million investment, it will include both residential and community spaces.
Brewer, Somerset Place (former Brewer High School)
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1925-26 Brewer High School was closed in 2009 and left largely vacant. Brewer Housing Authority seized the opportunity to adaptively use the structure as affordable housing for the city’s elderly residents. With the aid of historic preservation tax credits, it now boasts ADA accessibility and twenty-eight apartments.
Caribou, Gray Methodist Episcopal Church
The Methodist Episcopal Church in Caribou, now called Gray Memorial United Methodist, is a 1913 structure that was in desperate need of siding, window and steeple work. With the support of two grants from the Maine Community Foundation’s Steeples Project, work was completed in time for the church to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2013.
Fairfield, Charles E. Moody School, Good Will-Hinckley
Empty for nearly 40 years, the 1906 Charles E. Moody School at the former Good Will-Hinckley orphanage and home for needy children has been fully rehabilitated and is again serving the educational needs of Maine’s children as the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences, Maine’s first charter high school.
Harspwell, Halfway Rock Light
Halfway Rock Light Station was constructed in 1871 to serve as a beacon at the entrance to Casco Bay. It was actively manned until 1975 and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. In dangerously degraded condition, the lighthouse was deemed surplus property by the federal government in 2014, put up for auction, and acquired by the Presumpscot Foundation. Despite significant challenges, this site of great meaning to Maine’s maritime history has now been restored to its 1950 appearance.
Portland, Brick North – Thompson’s Point
This 1904 industrial building that once stored steel used for WWII Liberty Ships experienced intermittent vacancy, deferred maintenance and water damage. It’s now a functional and energy-efficient arts and entertainment hub, and a place for a host of new Maine businesses to call home.
Portland, George S. Hunt Block (660 Congress Street)
After a devastating fire, this 1886 Queen Anne building, which is a designated landmark in a local historic district and a contributing building to one of Maine’s National Register historic districts, was left to decay. A creative $2 million redesign began in 2011. The 7,500 square foot structure was completed in 2016, and includes a pair of two-bedroom apartments, and a light filled commercial space on the ground floor with a spacious basement retail space.
Portland, Rosa True
The Rosa True building, a neighborhood landmark significant for its association with the development of Portland’s Spring Street Historic District, was originally constructed in 1844 as a relatively modest schoolhouse. The well-used building gradually fell into disrepair and in 1972 Portland’s longest serving public school building in continuous use was closed. Converted to low-income apartments in 1992, the building again suffered over time. Developer Kevin Bunker advocated for state and city aid to thoughtfully rehabilitate the property to offer affordable housing stock at a time when Portland is in desperate need.
Portland, Westbrook Seminary Building, Alumni Hall
The Westbrook Seminary Building, a Federal style structure built in 1833 and known today as Alumni Hall, is the centerpiece of the University of New England’s Portland campus. After sitting vacant for over a decade, the building and its historic green have now been restored to their original grandeur.
Rockland, Knox County Courthouse
Moisture damage and poor repairs led to the deterioration of the Knox County Courthouse, a structure finished in 1875. Rockland’s Italianate courthouse has now been preserved and restored so that locals and visitors alike can admire its history and architectural beauty.
South Portland, Roosevelt School
Constructed in 1927, Roosevelt School has long been a center of activity on South Portland’s Meetinghouse Hill. After closing in 1983, it was used as an educational center, then abandoned and left vacant and deteriorating. Acquired by developer Ethan Boxer-Macomber in 2014, the school has been converted into nineteen modern condominium units, respecting both the integrity of the exterior and the natural setting.
Springvale, Edmund E. Goodwin House
Sitting on Main Street in Sanford’s Springvale Village, this Queen Anne-style family home was built in 1899 and remained in the Goodwin family, largely unchanged, for 115 years. With leadership from the Sanford-Springvale Historic Museum, more than seventy Sanford citizens and institutions donated a total of $120,000 to put the house back in order. It’s now open to visitors as a museum.
Yarmouth, Merrill Memorial Library
After significant fundraising and a public-private partnership with the town of Yarmouth, the 1904-05 Merrill Memorial Library is now a completely renewed public building. With restored historic features, added insulation, and a new high- efficiency mechanical system, the building’s overall energy consumption has been reduced by 30 percent, allowing it to be both physically and operationally sustainable well into the future. The new entryway serves as a light-filled community gathering space and also creates a safer, more accessible approach to the library.