Historic Cape Elizabeth school house among 'Most Endangered Places'

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CAPE ELIZABETH — Bowery Beach School House has been placed on Maine Preservation’s 2017 list of Maine’s Most Endangered Places. 

Maine Preservation is a statewide nonprofit that promotes and preserves historic places, buildings, downtowns and neighborhoods.

Since 1996, 144 places have been included in the list – 53 of which have been saved. 

Constructed in 1865 at 1 Wheeler Road as a school house, the Bowery Beach School House was converted to the Ladies Union in 1931, according to Maine Preservation. In 1983 the Greek Revival-style property became home to the Cape Elizabeth Lions Club.

The building is now used as a meeting space for the Lions Club, support groups, and the local Boy Scouts. But with membership declining and an operating structure that provides limited opportunities to raise funds for building repair, there soon may not be enough funds to continue maintenance and ownership of the building, the preservation group said.

According to a Sept. 5 Maine Preservation press release, a recent building inspection revealed significant levels of wood rot and rodent damage. With help from the community, the group said, the Cape Elizabeth Lions hope to be able to fund needed repairs, maintenance, and annual carrying costs.