Portland, Maine. Maine Preservation announced its 12th annual list of Maine’s Most Endangered Historic Properties at a press conference at the 1914 Bates Mill #5 Weave Shed in Lewiston. This property is among the six structures and one statewide thematic listing officially named to the program this year by Maine Preservation’s Board of Trustees.
“We believe that Maine’s traditional buildings and landscapes provide tangible links to our past. They must remain strong and contributing elements of our cultural legacy – now and for the future. Our mission is to promote the preservation, protection, and vitality of Maine’s historic places and encourage quality design that contributes to the livability of our communities,” stated Board President, Christopher Glass.
“A dozen years ago we began our Most Endangered Historic Properties program to increase public awareness of the need to preserve and protect our vanishing heritage, and to provide leadership and support in the rescue of significant historic structures and sites across Maine. The program demonstrates the variety and severity of threats facing historic structures and sites across Maine. Endangered status does not ensure the protection of the site, yet it continually helps to raise local awareness and helps focus the work that often leads to rescue,” said Roxanne Eflin, the organization’s Executive Director.
New to the list in 2007 are:
- The 1914 Bates Mill #5 Weave Shed in Lewiston, designed by the nationally known architect Albert Kahn and featuring a distinctive saw-tooth roof - future use undecided by its owner, the City of Lewiston
- The 1900 (former) Gerald Hotel in Fairfield, most recently home to the Northern Mattress Furniture Company – vacant and in need of rehabilitation and use;
- The 1941-1958 Taterstate Frozen Foods plant, production site of the first frozen French fries in the United States, located in Washburn in northern Aroostook County – vacant industrial Brownfield’s site with potential for agricultural museum and new sustainable agricultural businesses
- The c.1850 Hubbard Cotton Store, a former multi-use commercial landmark in Hiram village center, for sale and currently undergoing renovation;
- The 1887 Buck Memorial Library in Bucksport, whose foundation mortar has failed and efforts urgently need to continue to restore the foundation work begun three years ago;
- The Hancock County Sheriff’s Home and Jail in Ellsworth, built c.1886 and currently headquarters of the Ellsworth Historical Society – suffering from gradual structural deterioration and water damage; and
- Historic Wooden Windows, listed as a statewide thematic property type due to alarming destruction and replacement with aesthetically and environmentally inferior windows across Maine and nationwide.
This year, for the first time, each of the named properties will receive a $500 matching grant from Maine Preservation’s Preserve Maine Fund in order to assist in great fundraising efforts necessary to accomplish a specific aspect of rescue, such as a building conditions assessment or marketing study.
Since 1996, and including this year, 75 properties and seven statewide thematic property types have received “Most Endangered” status. Currently, 22 of these properties have been successfully saved, 30 are making good progress, and only six have been lost to demolition.
For photos of this year’s list, inspiring success stories and ways to get involved call Roxanne Eflin, Executive Director, at (207) 775-3652.