The Bath Customs House and Post Office built in 1858, is located in the heart of downtown and is perfectly sited to be both highly visible from the river and mark the southern gateway into downtown.
This classic Italian Renaissance Revival building built of gray granite symbolized the pride and prosperity of Bath’s heritage as one of the most important ports along the eastern seaboard. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it was designed in 1852 by Ammi Burnham Young, the first Supervising Architect of the U.S. Treasury.
The building was maintained, however time and exposure had taken their toll, especially on the monumentally-scaled windows. They remained intact but were functionally compromised by wear. Office tenants felt the conditions were poor enough to consider vacating the building.
Resources for this project were limited and expectations by stakeholders were high. Objectives included returning all windows to fully intact condition, easing use, reducing air and water infiltration and energy loss, and creating a demonstration project. A workshop was conducted early on to formulate a practical and community-supported strategy to the window restoration process.
The process to restore 38 huge double-hung windows involved removing each sash, stripping the old paint, re-glazing, painting, and finally re-installing them. In addition, all doors were restored with new weather stripping.
The preservation-based methodology produced excellent results. Tenants were pleased and are no longer inclined to move. For this focused and unique project, Maine Preservation is pleased to present a 2013 Honor Award for the Restoration and Preservation Crafts used in the Bath Customs House.