Main Street

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.   


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.