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.