Honor Awards 2014
The Maine Preservation 2014 Honor Awards recognize excellence in historic preservation throughout the state; highlight the importance of preservation, rehabilitation, and adaptive use of important historic Maine landmarks as well as heritage trades; and encourage the use of historic buildings for downtown and neighborhood revitalization. These historic preservation projects are helping to fulfill communities’ needs, while providing a boost to the economy and the real estate industry throughout the state. Since 2008, 55 privately developed projects have invested a third-of-a-billion dollars ($333 million) in construction using Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credits. Four of the projects honored this year have used these credits. The 2014 Honor Awards ceremony was held Wednesday evening, November 19th, at the Portland Country Club in Falmouth, and honored eleven projects and four individuals from a list of nominations which were submitted last summer. Amongst those honored were individuals, property owners, architects, developers, contractors, preservation consultants, and other team members who demonstrated great achievement and best practices in historic preservation in Maine.
Gerald Hotel Senior Housing, Fairfield – 2014 Honor Award for Adaptive Use
Gerald Hotel Senior Housing
Designed by Lewiston architect William R. Miller, the Gerald Hotel was built between 1899 and 1900 by Fairfield businessman Amos F. Gerald. Featuring the work of Boston artist, H.C. Aiken, the hotel exhibited a degree of extravagance and detail more commonly seen in major urban hotels. During the Great Depression, the hotel business folded and the building began a series of changes leading to its abandonment in 2007. Working with Sheridan Construction, Architect Richard Goduti, Sutherland Conservation & Consulting, and Tony Castro & Company, the new owner, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, renovated the hotel, creating 28 units of affordable housing as well as first floor retail space, while being sensitive to the unique character of the building. Notable work includes enclosing the grand staircase in fire-rated glass to meet current codes while retaining this prominent architectural features and extensive paint analysis and plaster work to restore original features and color schemes. The project qualified for Federal and State Historic tax credits, and received National Park Service certification in December 2013. The rehabilitation of the hotel put to use a vacant landmark on Fairfield’s Main Street, restored key architectural features and increased employment and affordable housing in the town center. For more details, Click Here.
Hyacinth Place, Westbrook – 2014 Honor Award for Adaptive Use
The influx of French Canadians into Westbrook during the mid-19th century brought about the creation the St. Hyacinth parish, eventually growing to include a school, convent, church, rectory, and garage. Long since closed, the 1894 school building and the 1922 convent had fallen into disrepair in recent years. In 2011, the buildings were found eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places and, thus, qualified for Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits. Avesta Housing, Developers Collaborative, and Archetype Architects of Portland worked together to adapt the two buildings into 23 housing units, while retaining important character-defining spaces. During the rehabilitation project, major work included exterior masonry repairs, window restoration and replacement, and retention and repair of a large inventory of historic trim elements and pressed metal ceilings. With their attention to historic detail, the project team did an exemplary job of adapting two historically significant buildings, creating much needed affordable housing within an existing residential neighborhood. For more details, Click Here.
Union Hall, Rockport – 2014 Honor Award for Rehabilitation
Built in 1858, Union Hall was once an anchor of downtown activity on Rockport’s Main Street. Designed with open retail spaces on the first floor, a civic or fraternal hall on the second, and offices or living spaces on the third level, it remained remarkably intact, though much deteriorated. It is notable for its mansard roof, which was added at a later date. When Leucadia National Corporation invested in Rockport’s downtown, revitalization was its motivation and first completed a historic tax credit project on Shepherd Block in 2010, Under the leadership of Rockport Properties, LLC and Lachman Architects & Planners, this project successfully corrected a multitude of structural problems, provided ADA access throughout the building, and repaired the building fabric and finishes to reinvigorate downtown Rockport with the successful reuse of the building as restaurant, multipurpose hall, a residence, and office space. For more details, Click Here.
Winnegance General Store, Bath – 2014 Honor Award for Rehabilitation
Winnegance General Store
The Winnegance General Store was built in 1902 to supply necessary goods to local residents and quickly became a social center for the area. Long outlasting the tidal-powered mills on the Kennebec River which employed many of the stores original patrons, the Winnegance General Store closed in 2009 with the building in dire need of repairs. In 2013, the store was listed on Maine Preservation’s Endangered Places List and soon thereafter was purchased but summer resident Jennifer Greene, with a vision of restoring the building. Through the tireless work of Tancred House Movers, Androscoggin Building and Remodeling, Houseworks, LLC, Jung Restoration, the building underwent a major rehabilitation. Extensive repairs included temporarily moving the entire building to install a new foundation, fashioning cabinets from pumpkin pine salvaged on site, preserving the original beadboard walk-in cooler, reusing glass pendant fixtures from a 1916 Lewiston school, installing salvaged flooring, and restoring the badly deteriorated original windows. The result is a neighborhood gem with an upstairs apartment for rent and a flexible downstairs space that has returned to use as a general store. For more details, Click Here.
Charles B. Clarke House, Portland – 2014 Honor Award for Rehabilitation
Charles B. Clarke House
Built in 1907 for Portland mayor Charles B. Clarke, the 13,000 square foot brick mansion was designed by Ernest M. A. Machado, fronting Portland’s Western Promenade park. The property was later occupied by James P. Baxter, Jr. and other prominent Portland residents. Most recently the property suffered when owners facing financial difficulties left Portland in the face of foreclosure, stripping original fixtures that were easily removable. In planning the rehabilitation, the new owner, 223 Western Prom, LLC, worked closely with the Portland Historic Preservation Review Board, and also sought input from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Greater Portland Landmarks, Maine Preservation and other interested groups. The developer reached out to the neighborhood and with its support, TTL Architects and Waltman & Company Design developed the design concept converting the 13,000 square foot, single-family residence into three large condominium units. Throughout all three units, thorough attention was paid to historic detail, while completely replacing all mechanicals and added sprinklers. On the exterior, notable repairs include replacing 75% of the roofs, undertaking extensive masonry restorations, restoring most of the wood trim, completely remodeling the grounds, and restoring all wrought iron fencing and rails. Through attention to historic detail and sensitive treatment of historic fabric, the house has been restored in manner worthy of its important place in Portland’s history. For more details, Click Here.
The Turrets at College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor – 2014 Honor Award for Rehabilitation
Designed in 1893 by renowned architect, Bruce Price, the Turrets are one of the most important examples of cottage-era architecture in Maine. College of the Atlantic purchased the property in 1973, and two years later the building was placed in the National Register of Historic Places. Despite major restoration efforts in 1977, 1987, and 1989, by the early 2000s, the Turrets suffered from a number of concerning deferred maintenance issues as the slate roof and granite facing deteriorated. In 2012, following extensive campus discussion, College of the Atlantic reached the decision that they wished to restore the building and committed to funding the $3.7 million project centered on three critical building components: masonry, roof, and windows. The masonry work included a comprehensive repair of the building’s granite masonry façade. Painstaking care was taken to install a new slate roof that matched the existing Monson slate roof. A combination of new, historically accurate windows and meticulously restored, original windows were installed. The Turrets is one of Maine’s historic and architectural treasures. The College of the Atlantic community’s commitment to preserve the structure has resulted in a beautiful and functional building, which is now the centerpiece of the college’s campus. For more details, Click Here.
U.S. Custom House, Portland – 2014 Honor Award for Restoration
US Custom House
Located near Portland’s waterfront, the U.S. Custom House is a testament to the city’s maritime history. Designed by Alfred B. Mullett, Third Supervising Architect of the Treasury, and constructed between 1867 and 1872, the U.S. Custom House combines elements of the Second Empire and Renaissance Revival styles. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Over the decades, the building envelope and interior plaster gradually deteriorated to the point where plaster chunks began periodically falling from the ceiling, prompting emergency action from the General Services Administration (GSA). As a follow up to these emergency repairs, in this project, the GSA completed extensive masonry, roofing, window and interior plaster repairs. This project not only restored the Portland Custom House to provide continued use by the Federal Government in the City of Portland, but it has also provided the opportunity to open the building up to the public to see the magnificent architecture of the facility and to reconnect the citizens of Portland to their maritime past. For more details, Click Here.
Bailey Island Bridge #2033 (Cribstone Bridge), Harpswell – 2014 Honor Award for Restoration
Bailey Island Bridge
Constructed in 1928, Bailey Island Bridge is a granite crib bridge, the only one of its kind in the country. The bridge consists of 175 spans of granite slab cribs, using the natural rock shelf as its foundation. The bridge, consisting of granite slabs dried laid with no mortar, is a National Register listed property and also a National American Society of Civil Engineering landmark. In 2000, after decades of bridge inspections and continuous maintenance, the Bailey Island Bridge was in need of major repairs or replacement. In 2007, with the help of The Maine Historic Preservation Commission and the Dry Stone Conservancy, Maine DOT made the decision to rehabilitate and restore the cribstone bridge. Committed to maintaining the unique granite substructure, MaineDOT sought to replace as few stones as possible and to match replacement stones with the most similar granite available. Extensive repairs included replacing missing and fractured stones, while also adjusting shifted and cantilevered stones. The rehabilitation spanned 2008 to 2011, resulting in the preservation of this one-of-a-kind bridge for future generations. For more details, Click Here.
Maine State House Dome, Augusta – 2014 Honor Award for Restoration
Maine State House Dome
Designed by prominent architect, Charles Bulfinch, the Maine State House in Augusta was completed in 1832, five years after Augusta became the state’s official capitol. Major remodeling and expansion was undertaken in 1910, including the new, much higher, copper-covered dome, topped by a gold-clad copper statue, “Lady Wisdom”, designed by W. Clark Noble of Gardiner. Over time, weather damage and holes caused by hail strikes in the top of the State House’s copper dome caused leaks into the buildings. The seams between the copper sheets also caused problems for the underlying steel and concrete structure of the dome. In collaboration with Becker Structural Engineering, The Heritage Company, EverGreene Architectural Arts, E.S. Boulos Company and ACE Corporation, Consigli Construction completed replaced the full copper dome, including repairs to prevent water infiltration, the restoration of the cupola, the gilding of the Lady Wisdom sculpture, and new LED lights in the statues torch. The restoration of one of Maine’s most significant historic landmark buildings will return its signature copper dome and gilded Lady Wisdom sculpture to their original intended condition, with painting and gilding lasting for 20 to 30 years and the roof for another one hundred years. For more details, Click Here.
Farnsworth Homestead, Rockland – 2014 Honor Award for Restoration
Photo Credit: Alan LaValle
Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the Farnsworth Homestead was built in 1850 for Rockland businessman William Alden Farnsworth. The elegant two-story, twelve-room Greek Revival structure was home to his wife and six children, including Lucy Copeland Farnsworth, whose bequest upon her death in 1935 founded the Farnsworth Art Museum. The house is virtually unchanged from the time of William’s death in 1876, and much of its original furnishings and other items for everyday use remain in the house. In 2011, the museum began a comprehensive multi-year restoration and interpretation project at the Homestead including mold remediation by Air Quality Management Services, Inc., the replacement of the asphalt roof with historically accurate cedar shingles by McElreavy Roofing, exterior painting by North American Painting Company, and the replacement of damaged clapboards by Preservation Timber Framing. In addition, a team of experts was assembled to accurately reconstruct and catalog the furnishing of the home. The Homestead is now open to the public. The exterior closely replicates the home the Farnsworths moved into in 1850, while the interior reveals a more historically accurate furnishing plan, with only objects associated with the Farnsworth family on display. For more details, Click Here.
Weston Homestead, Madison – 2014 Honor Award for Stewardship
Deacon Benjamin Weston settled along the Kennebec River in Madison in 1786. Through more than 225 years since, the homestead that he established has remained in the Weston Family. Prominent today is the Federal-style home that was built in 1817, replacing the original log-frame structure. Aside from a few alterations, the Homestead has been amazingly well preserved and remains a pristine example of Federal-style architecture in Maine. This past year, the Weston family made the decision to sell the property, which includes the house, more than 300 acres of crop and forestland, and the furnishings within the home. The Weston family has chosen to work with Maine Preservation and the Maine Farmland Trust to ensure that the house and property will be protected in perpetuity. Maine Farmland Trust is working to place conservation easements on the farmlands and timberlands, while Maine Preservation is seeking to find a new owner for the house who will respect its historic nature, and will also place preservation easements on the house prior to any sale, protecting this important piece of family and local history. For more details, Click Here.
Jacob DiGirolamo – 2014 Honor Award for Outstanding Volunteer
In 2013, the Georges River Land Trust was in the process of acquiring portions of the Robbins-Anderson Farm, a parcel of more than 200 acres located in South Thomaston. When Maine Preservation learned that demolition of the historic farmhouse on the property was a possibility, we offered to consult on the property. The house was built about 1795 by the Isaac Robbins family, on land they purchased as the first settlers in South Thomaston. Maine Preservation requested and received an option-to-purchase the house and five acres from the Anderson family, owners since 1900, in order to market it for resale. With this option, Maine Preservation listed the house with agent Cindy Lang of Sotheby’s Realty. Adjoining the house was the overgrown, neglected apple orchard. Annette Naegel of Georges River Land Trust suggested a pruner and, at our request, asked Jacob DiGirolamo if he might volunteer his time to restore the orchard. Jacob agreed to take on the task to, “bring the trees a little closer to something that might be called management.” Jacob carefully pruned the old trees, resulting in a bumper crop of apples in the fall and the increased marketability of the property. For more details, Click Here.
Terry Helms and J. Donald Cyr, Lille – 2014 Honor Award for Outstanding Community Service
Terry Helms and Don Cyr
In 1983, Don Cyr founded the Association Culturelle et Historique du Mont-Carmel with the purpose of saving Notre-Dame-du-Mont-Carmel. The church, completed in 1910, is one the most architecturally significant examples of historic wooden Catholic churches in the region. Don Cyr began by removing the church’s “modern improvements.” In 1990, he hired contractor Terry Helms to work on the restoration. Over the years, Helms has worked tirelessly to restore the building’s original materials, carefully following standards of the Secretary of the Interior. In a region of Maine with little funding available, the Association has raised $2.8 million in grants for the restoration over the course of the project. Under the stewardship of the Association, the church has become a museum housing fine Acadian artifacts, as well as a performing arts center. From the continuing efforts of both Terry and Don, a significant community asset has been preserved and restored. For more details, Click Here.
Linda Grant, Yarmouth – 2014 Honor Award for Outstanding Community Service
Linda Grant has devoted herself as a Yarmouth Village Improvement Society (VIS) committee-of-one to the preservation of two of this town’s most valuable architectural treasures – the 1906 Grand Trunk Railroad Station and the 1796 Old Meetinghouse. Linda has solicited contractors, reviewed bids and managed projects totaling more than $100,000 in the past dozen years. Her research and resulting knowledge of early construction methods and materials has assured the historical accuracy of the renovation work. In addition, she volunteered many hours to design a Town Comprehensive Plan that protects the “village” of Yarmouth, worked on the Yarmouth Gateways Project from 2006 through 2009, and she served on the Royal River Corridor study in 2008. Linda also chaired the Board of the Yarmouth Historical Society during the renovation of the former Water Company building, a project which resulted in the new Yarmouth History Center on East Elm Street. She is a tireless worker who is deservedly honored for her dedication and achievements. For more details, Click Here.