o The Kora Temple in Lewiston was built in 1908 for the Kora Shrine, a fraternal and charitable organization founded in 1870 and established in Lewiston in 1891.
Designed by architect and Shrine member George M. Coombs, the building reflects Moorish and Exotic Revival architectural styles. The Kora Temple building was added to the National Historic Register in 1975.
Over time, the terracotta features were showing significant deterioration and damage. Moisture had penetrated the terracotta resulting in rusting of structural steel, causing the material to expand, displacing and damaging the terracotta columns.
The building’s metal cornice was constructed of galvanized steel, the coating of which had peeled and chipped, leaving many exposed areas. The decorative elements along the rooftop were also constructed from galvanized steel. Moisture had penetrated the steel causing openings into the hollow units.
As many terracotta units as possible were repaired by fastening them together with stainless steel staples. Workers epoxied the staples in place and patched the cracks, coating all terracotta with mineral paint to match the original historic color. The structural steel was resurfaced and coated to resist future rusting. New replacement columns were designed in a way to accommodate potential “rust jacking” in the future.
The project team repaired the cornice and decorative metal units along the roof edge, and resurfaced, repaired and recoated all metal. The work was broken into phases to provide the Kora Temple Association Trustees an affordable course of action for restoration.
The result of this project is a restoration that preserves the architectural and cultural history of Kora Temple, a uniquely designed building that has defined downtown Lewiston’s streetscape for over a century. Returned to its original splendor, the restored temple has had a significant and positive impact on the downtown area.