Knox Hotel, Thomaston

The original Knox Hotel was built in 1828 and named for General Henry Knox, the first United States Secretary of War and resident of Thomaston.  This first structure burned in a 1915 fire that consumed many other buildings on Thomaston’s Main Street and it was replaced soon after with the current Knox Hotel.  In 1978 the building was renovated to provide affordable housing for senior citizens and was later listed as a contributing resource in the Thomaston National Register Historic District. 

In 2009, the owner, Cathedral Development, discovered significant interior and exterior damage to the wood structure due to water infiltration.  Recently, these problems were corrected along with interior renovations to ensure the long term preservation of this important Thomaston landmark. 

Restoration work included a meticulous conditions assessment of the exterior envelope, extensive repair of the exterior wall cladding, replication of missing and damaged porch features, roof repairs, and replacement of the vinyl windows with historically appropriate replacement windows.  

Cathedral Development retained David Twombly of Twombly Consulting, to assemble the project team and identify investors.  Twombly in turn hired Portland architect, Dick Reed of Reed Architecture and Wright-Ryan Construction of Portland to prepare and execute the restoration plan.  Twombly also worked with Cindy Hamilton of Heritage Consulting Group to obtain the state and federal historic tax credit approvals. The project made use of funding from Federal Historic Tax Credits, the Maine Substantial Rehabilitation Credit as well as Maine State Housing Authority’s Low Income Housing Tax Credit. New England Housing Investment Fund, a private not-for-profit corporation that promotes housing and community development in Maine and New Hampshire, purchased the state historic credits and brought in TD Bank, which purchased the LIHTC and federal historic tax credits and provided construction financing.

Thanks to the collaborative effort of all of these groups, the Knox Hotel is looking as good as it did in 1915 and an important piece of the fabric of Thomaston history has been saved.   


Winslow Homer Studio, Scarborough

In 1884, preeminent American painter Winslow Homer moved to his family’s summer estate on Prouts Neck in Scarborough.  Homer hired famous Portland architect John Calvin Stevens to redesign his father’s carriage house and turn the old stables into his studio and residence.

From 1884 till his death in 1910, Homer spent most of his time here on the rugged shore line, a setting which inspired many of his famous seascapes.  After Homer’s death, the building was passed down through the family who saw to its maintenance but also made a number of significant alterations to the structure.

In January of 2006, the Portland Museum of Art purchased Winslow Homer’s Studio and retained Mills Whitaker Architects to begin planning its restoration.

The restoration process unraveled modern alterations made to the building by Homer’s descendants through the years and restored the dwelling and studio of one of America’s most extraordinary painters.

With the help of a historic structures report produced by Barba+Wheelock Architects, Mills Whitaker restored the studio as accurately as possible to its configuration on the date of Homer’s death in 1910. 

The restoration dealt with everything from original construction methods to accurately recreating the interior decorating. 

Mills Whitaker based this detailed restoration on information gathered from historic photos, books, magazine articles and museum archives. 

The restoration work commenced in 2007 and continued each building season (September through June) until the project was finally completed in the summer of 2012 and this National Historic Landmark is now open to the public.  

Thanks to the hard work of Mills Whitaker Architects and the Portland Museum of Art, Winslow Homer Studio now accurately represents and celebrates the artist’s life and educates audiences to appreciate the artistic heritage of Winslow Homer and Maine.


Hewitt Block, Rockland

Originally built circa 1873, the Hewett Block at 449 Main Street in Rockland helps define the character of the Rockland Main Street Historic District.

Just a few years ago, the building sat vacant and suffering from deferred maintenance, inefficient mechanical systems, code issues, and an insensitive modernization of the historic storefront which removed the original granite piers and bricked most of the windows.

Thanks to the careful interior rehabilitation and exterior restoration by property owner Richard Rockwell, Peter T. Gross Architects, Sutherland Conservation & Consulting, Maine Coast Construction and Greenworks Development the building is now a vibrant feature of Main Street and an economic asset to the community.

This project sensitively rehabilitated the interior spaces while restoring the exterior of the building to its nineteenth century appearance. 

Poorly executed 70’s renovations were reversed or removed, the bricked up windows were uncovered, missing granite columns on the façade were replicated and new storefronts were created based on historic photos of the building.

In addition, the decorative Italianate style features of the façade were restored and period appropriate exterior light fixtures were added. 

This project also helped bring the building into the 21st century by getting it up to modern code requirements, updating the inefficient mechanical systems and even installing a green roof.     

As a result of this close attention to detail, the project was able to take advantage of significant state and federal tax credits. 

With restaurant space in the rear walk-out basement, retail space on the first story, office space on the second story, and striking contemporary apartments on the third story, the Hewett Block building once again contributes to the economic vibrancy of downtown Rockland.


Twitchell-Chaplin Co. Building at Merrill's Wharf, Portland

The Merrill’s Wharf  has long been one of the most dominant buildings in any view of Portland’s historic waterfront. Its incremental construction by the Twitchell-Champlin Grocery Company from 1884 to 1924 contributed to the growth of Maine industry, providing a spice mill, candy factory, and cannery for the commercial port, until its conversion to cold storage in 1962.

Over the following decades, condensation from short-term insulation strategies and incompatible window infill dangerously compromised the structural integrity and historical identity of its five-story, 300-foot-long brick walls.

Working with Winton Scott Architects, Visnick & Caulfield Associates, Becker Structural Engineers, as well as historic consultants Sutherland Conservation and  Metric Construction, owner Waterfront Maine was able to not only save the structurally failing building, but also to create viable office space while retaining the building’s significant character.

Throughout the Merrill’s Wharf building, important historic elements that define the industrial atmosphere of have been highlighted in the design. 

Building Envelope Consultants worked closely with the experienced masons at Knowles Industrial Services to stabilize the failing masonry walls utilizing state-of-the-art injection re-bonded techniques.   

Sutherland Conservation & Consulting’s successful nomination expanded the boundaries of the Portland Waterfront National Register district to include Merrill’s Wharf and helped the project to qualify for historic tax credits. 

Thanks to expertly applied preservation skills, a windowless hulk of a building has been reclaimed and transformed into an attractive addition to Portland’s historic waterfront.

Maine General Hospital

Upon completion in 1874, Maine General Hospital became the first hospital in the State of Maine to be open to the general public. Located atop Bramhall’s Hill, it was designed in High Victorian Gothic style by famous Portland architect Francis H. Fassett as part of the rebuilding of Portland after the Great Fire of 1866.  

Fassett’s ornate design included vibrant polychrome walls, high slate roofs, and a piercing, crested tower.  In 1951, Maine General Hospital merged with two other institutions to form Maine Medical Center, and the Maine General building currently houses the hospital’s administrative offices.

In 2010, a building evaluation found significant problems on the building’s exterior. The slate roof was delaminating, areas of the brick masonry were missing mortar, the brownstone window details were spalling and wooden elements on the windows and tower trim needed to be re-sealed and painted. 

To correct these issues and faithfully restore the exterior of the building to its original 1874 appearance, Main Medical Center hired Becker Structural Engineers, as envelope consultant and Consigli Construction provided construction management as well as performing the necessary masonry, carpentry and window restorations.  Consigli Construction in turn retained G&E Roofing Co, Inc. for all roof repair, Ace Corporation for painting work, J.C. Stone, Inc. for all handcrafted stone materials and Masonry Preservation Associates for window caulking. Kilbreth Inc. supplied various metals, including recasting of tower cresting. Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment Corporation provided and erected scaffolding. 

The $3.8 million restoration, originally phased as a 3-year project, was completed in seventeen months. The work included restoration of the original window sashes and exterior wood trim of the dormers.

The slate and cooper flashing on the roof was replaced and all soffits and all exterior details were repainted. 

Deteriorated brownstone and sandstone elements were repaired and cleaned or replaced where necessary.  During this process, Consigli Construction had all important project documents reviewed and approved by the City of Portland Historic Preservation Division. 

The restoration of the Maine General Building provided a revitalized exterior to Maine Med’s administrative building and returned this 1874 Maine landmark to its former glory. Maine Preservation is pleased to present a 2012 Honor Award for exterior rehabilitation of Maine General Hospital.

Morrill N. Drew House, Portland

Designed by prominent Portland architect, John Calvin Stevens and constructed circa 1899, the Drew House at 143 Vaughn Street is one of many historic houses that define the character of Portland’s West End.  

When Andrew and Jessica O’Brien purchased the Drew House in 2011, it was in a rather sad state and had lost much of its former prestige.  At the time of sale, the O’Briens had no way of knowing the extent of the house’s deterioration. 

Much of the rot and flaking lead paint was concealed behind cheap plastic siding and the porches were structurally unsound.  The craftsmen of Rousseau Builders and Bagala Window Works were hired to restore the property with accuracy and attention to historic detail while preserving as much of the original structure and materials as possible. 

Rousseau Builders reconstructed all porches and entryways according to the original John Calvin Stevens drawings and replaced deteriorated clapboard siding with new quarter-sawn pine clapboards that matched the original siding both in material and workmanship. 

Bagala Window Works restored 47 of the existing windows according to the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Preservation and installed new traditional wooden storm windows.  

Because of the thorough attention to historic detail and sensitive treatment of historic fabric Maine Preservation is pleased to present a 2012 Honor Award for restoration to the Drew House project. 

Healy Asylum

Desgined by Jefferson Lake Coburn and completed in 1893, the Healy Asylum in Lewiston was orignially built as Catholic orphanage.  For eighty years, the Healy Asylum provided a home and education for hundreds of young boys, ages two to twelve, until it closed in 1973.  Since then, the building has found temporary use as a daycare and was later converted into a home for the elderly before sitting vacant for a number of years. 

The Lewiston Housing Authority and Developers Collaborative of Portland saw the tremendose potential in the structure and purchased it with the intent of creating much needed affordable housing for the elderly. 

Wright-Ryan Construction of Portland repaired and restored important character-defining features on the exterior, like the bracketed wood cornice, which had been obscured with aluminum covering in addtion to restoring the front entace to its original 1893 apparance. 

On the interior, poorly executed 70’s partitions were removed, and the elaborate pressed metal ceilings were restored.

Important architectural details were repaired or replicated and inefficient and obsolete mechanical systems were replaced. 

Development Services of New England and Winton Scott Architects worked closely with historic consultant Sutherland Conservation & Consulting to ensure that the project would meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards and receive generous historic tax credits.

Through the rehabilitation of the Healy Asylum, 32 new units of affordable housing for the elderly were created within walking distance of downtown Lewistion and an important part of the community’s history was preserved.



Hedge & Roger Williams Halls, Bates College, Lewiston

Our next Honor Award goes to the rehabilitation of Hedge Hall and Roger Williams Hall at Bates College. 

Built in 1890, Hedge Hall was originally designed by architect George M. Coombs in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. 

It was originally built as the chemistry lab but its function and appearance have changed many times in the hundred and twenty years since it was first built.

Roger Williams Hall was built in 1895, five years after Hedge Hall, and was designed by architect Elmer Thomas in the colonial revival style. 

Roger Hall was originally built to house the divinity school but like Hedge Hall, its function and form were altered several during its lifetimes. 

By 2007, these two academic buildings had become worn, outdated and inefficient residence halls and were being considered for demolition.  Fortunately, these buildings were saved from the wrecking ball thanks in part to a campus survey conducted by JSA Inc. Architects which showed overwhelming support among students and faculty for saving Hedge and Roger Williams Halls. 

Bates College then began crafting a plan that would update the structures and enable them to age gracefully for another 100 years.  The century old masonry was restored to preserve the historic character of the buildings while new additions respectfully reflect the current time period.  

Through collaborative design and community engagement, the Hedge Hall and Roger Williams Hall continue to add to the architectural character of Bates College.

Bates has taken two endangered historic campus buildings and, with strong input from the students and faculty, strengthened them to ensure that all three buildings will be vital forces on campus well into the 22nd century.  

Bill King, Jr. & Jayne Palmer

Bill King and Jayne Palmer are outstanding leaders and volunteer resources for the Maine Development Foundation’s Maine Downtown Center (MDC).  They both helped to bring the Main Street program to our state  and are founding members of MDC’s Advisory Council.  Bill is former President of Bath Chamber of Commerce, former member of the Bath Merchants Association which converted to Main Street Bath in 2001, and former business owner of RVI.   In 2005, he was recognized by the National Main Street Center with a Main Street Hero Award  and also received a Maine Development Foundation  Award “for outstanding leadership for Maine” at its 2005 annual meeting.

 Jayne was former President of Bath Rotary Club, ran Gediman’s Appliances and was a member of the Bath Merchant’s Association.  She was recognized by the Maine Downtown Center with its Downtown Visionary Award in 2005.

 Both have held various leadership positions with the Maine Downtown Advisory Council, with Bill having chaired the Council. Bill also has been the strongest voice in favor of the Maine Downtown Center receiving State appropriations, which has been successful and helped build the program from 10 to 30 communities in the past four years.  Jayne is currently heading its Outreach Committee, which keeps close track of the progress of the program in ALL 30 communities.

 The Main Street Maine and Maine Downtown Network communities employ the techniques of the Main Street Program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  Bill and Jayne are both learńed scholars of the Main Street Approach.  But what is most extraordinary about them is that they are so willing to share their knowledge.  Working with Maine Downtown Center Senior Director Roxanne Eflin, Bill and Jayne are the first to volunteer to join a field trip throughout the state, whether it be north to the four communities in Aroostook County, east to the three communities in Washington County or west to Farmington, Norway or Sanford, traveling literally thousands of miles over the years.  When they arrive they share their knowledge of what is working and what is not doing as well and communicate positive suggestions in a knowledgeable and professional manner.

 The result is that all of the 30 towns and cities in this program have a clearer vision of their goals and objectives and are progressing better toward them because of Bill and Jayne’s work.  And the thousands of historic buildings located in these downtown areas have a brighter future.   For their years of extraordinary and dedicated service to Main Street throughout the state, Maine Preservation is pleased to present its Preservation Champion Award to Bill King and Jayne Palmer.

Steven & Wiebke Theodore, Bath

Tonight, we would also like to recognize local preservation advocates, Wiebke and Steven Theodore, of Arrowsic. 

The Theodore’s have dedicated years to saving the Bath Freight Shed and transforming it into a space for the community.  Wiebke has been instrumental in making it a home for the Bath Winter Farmer’s Market, a task that includes grant writing, fundraising, and volunteer organizing.

Recent efforts include a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $18,000 and a concert/local foods night that raised funding for the Bath Area Food Bank.

Steven serves as the vice president of Maine’s First Ship, a group that is reconstructing the Virginia, the first ship built in North America, also on site of the freight shed.

Together, this committed team has brought together the greater Bath community in order to achieve a commendable shared goal: the preservation of the freight shed.

Because of the Theodores, the City of Ships has even more to be proud about.


Hammond Street Congregational Church, Bangor

The Bangor Hammond Street Church, built in 1833 and renovated in 1853, stands as an integral part of the Queen City’s skyline.

The current bell tower has witnessed over 150 years of Bangor History and was rung to mark the end of the Spanish American War and to alert the town about the Great Bangor Fire of 1911.  In 1982, the Hammond Street Church was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

When the congregation noticed severe water damage in the brick church’s wooden clock tower, belfry, and spire, they immediately launched fundraising campaign to repair the structure.

Thanks in part to a $40,000 grant from the Maine Steeples Project, the Hammond Street Church was able to raise enough to hire the experts at Nickerson & O’Day, Inc. to repair the water damage and restore the steeple.

The restoration work included refurbishing the two clocks, replacing rotted posts, siding, and trim, installing new flashing, re-roofing and weather sealing the belfry roof, and scraping and painted the exterior.

Thanks to the concerned congregation and careful work performed by Nickerson & O’Day, the Hammond Street Church is now good for another 150 years.


Maine Hall, Bangor Theological Seminary, Bangor

Designed by Charles H. Pond, Maine Hall in Bangor was constructed in 1834 as a dormitory for the former Bangor Theological Seminary and is the second oldest building on the campus.  For over 150 years Maine Hall housed young men interested in joining the ministry who studied at the seminary.

The building has changed a great deal during its life time, beginning with a renovation in the 1850’s which added the Italianate front porch.   During the 1970’s and 80’s many insensitive changes were made to the interior of Maine Hall including the removal of the original staircases. 

In 2005 the Bangor Theological Seminary left their original campus and moved to nearby Husson College.  Four years latter, Community Housing of Maine Purchased the property to convert the former dormitory into affordable housing for the elderly.

The recent rehabilitation work included rebuilding the staircases using the one surviving section from the 1850’s as a model, and returning the missing balustrade to the porch roof in addition to bringing the structure up to modern code.  

A new addition to the rear of the building accommodates an accessible entrance which helped to minimize alterations to the historic interior of the original structure.

Thanks to the work of Community Housing of Maine, Sutherland Conservation & Consulting and CWS Architects, the project created 28 new units of affordable housing for the elderly in downtown Bangor, made use of generous state and federal historic tax credits and achieved LEED Silver certification.

Webster School, Auburn

Auburn’s 1916 Webster School, designed by architect Harry S. Coombs, has an illustrious history as New England’s first school built solely as a junior high school.

In 2006 the Webster School closed its doors and building sat vacant for over four years.

Then, in 2010 Auburn Housing Authority teamed up with Goduti/Thomas Architects and Sutherland Conservation & Consulting to convert the structure into twenty-eight affordable apartments.

The wide corridors, original doors and lockers, and built-in cabinets were all retained during the restoration.

By retaining and restoring much of the original historic fabric such as the doors and wooden floors, this rehabilitation qualified for both state and federal historic tax credits.

Most importantly, the former school continues to provide space for the community; Auburn’s Head Start is now located in the basement and the auditorium continues to serve as a mixed-use space.

The Webster School’s successful rebirth shows how partnerships can take a large vacant space and make it into a community need.