Park Street School, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Hutchins and French in the Colonial Revival style, was completed in 1922. It operated as a high school until 1939 and an elementary school until 2006.
The school closed in 2006 and remained vacant. The property became overgrown and hardly visible from the street.
Avesta housing saw an opportunity to provide much needed affordable housing in the neighborhood. Their rehabilitation project focused on the retention of the significant brick building facing Park Street while recent rear additions were replaced with a compatible modern addition.
The most significant interior spaces remain intact and recognizable to former students, while the classrooms have been made into apartments. All corridors were retained and the two-story gymnasium at the core of the building was utilized for community space.
Original wooden windows were retained on the prominent elevations and wooden pilasters were replicated. Trees planted too close to the building were removed and disease-resistant elms replanted along the street, as shown in historic photos.
Avesta and its team were able to create 30 affordable elderly housing units while maintaining significant architectural features of the former school. Maine Preservation is pleased to present a 2013 Honor Award for the adaptive use of Kennebunk High School.