Our Story

In 1970, a small group of concerned Mainers began meeting in Hallowell with the initial goal of promoting and enhancing Maine’s engagement under the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. By 1971, they accomplished this goal with the establishment of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. This devoted citizens’ group continued to meet and in 1972 Citizens for Historic Preservation officially incorporated as a non-profit organization, founding the organization today known as Maine Preservation.

Membership brochure ca 1985.

Membership brochure ca 1985.

By 1984, Maine Preservation had its first permanent office and its first paid employee followed in 1988 by its first executive director, Faith Harrington. In 1990, Thomas B. Johnson became executive director, building the position to fulltime. He was succeeded by Janet Roberts in 1994.

In 1997, Maine Preservation hired Roxanne Eflin as full-time executive director operating out of a small back office at 500 Congress Street in Portland. Under Roxanne’s leadership, Maine Preservation established its Honor Awards and Most Endangered programs and was active in advocacy and education.

Captain Reuben Merrill House, ca 1900.

Captain Reuben Merrill House, ca 1900.

In 2008, current executive director Greg Paxton was hired. Under Greg’s leadership Maine Preservation launched Field Services, which has since aided 1,150 projects; the Protect & Sell Program, which has sold eight properties protected by preservation easements and the Historic Tax Credit Program, which has aided 40 rehabilitation projects including being a partner in five. In 2010, Maine Preservation moved into its current headquarters in the Captain Reuben Merrill House (1858), a prominent eight-room, Italianate house at 233 West Main Street, Yarmouth, still owned by the builder’s family and leased to Maine Preservation, with staff having expanded to five.