Maine Preservation honors revitalization projects

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FALMOUTH — Celebrating what it calls outstanding examples of historic preservation and revitalization, Maine Preservation presented annual awards to projects in Portland, Falmouth, Bath and Harpswell.

In all, 16 preservation projects were honored during the organization’s 20th annual awards ceremony Nov. 7 at the Portland Country Club. The full list of Maine Preservation’s 2017 honor awards can be found on the organization’s website.

In addition, the organization presented its highest individual honor to Deb Andrews, manager of Portland’s historic preservation program.

Andrews received the Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. Preservation Champion honor for her lifetime achievement in historic preservation, which includes a stint as executive director at Greater Portland Landmarks and spearheading the adoption of Portland’s historic preservation ordinance.

In her time managing the city’s historic preservation program, Andrews has helped turn the Old Port into “the most vibrant and highest-rent commercial district in the state,” according to Maine Preservation.

At the same time, the group noted, Commercial and Congress streets were named Great Streets of America by the American Planning Association, while the Western Prom has been revitalized into “the highest value non-waterfront neighborhood in the state.”

“Both districts illustrate … that good preservation raises property values and the quality of the built environment,” Maine Preservation said.

“Taking vacant and underutilized historic buildings and … updating them is an essential ingredient for community revitalization and vitality,” Greg Paxton, executive director of Maine Preservation said last week.

“When completed these buildings lift the economics of the areas around them and the spirits of the citizens benefiting from them. These projects recall the history of … (the) predecessors that built and used them, while filling current needs,” Paxton said.

In Portland, the restoration of Brick South on Thompson’s Point by Forefront Partners; the Grand Trunk Railway Co. building, at the corner of India and Commercial streets, now owned by Gorham Savings Bank; the Schlotterbeck & Foss building on Preble Street, an Art Deco-style building designed by John Calvin Stevens and now owned by John Anton, Tom Watson and Brian Bush, with rehabilitation processes by Goduti/Thomas Architects, and the Francis Hotel on Congress Street, formerly known as the Mellen E. Bolster home, built in 1881 and now owned by Nate, Tony and Jake DeLois and Jeff Harder, were recognized.

In Falmouth, restoration and renovation of the former Plummer School by Sutherland Consulting, Developers Collaborative and OceanView at Falmouth into senior housing was also honored. The school was constructed in the early 1930s and served as the town’s original high school.

In Harpswell, Maine Preservation recognized the rehabilitation of the Elijah Kellogg Church, originally built in 1843. The church has long served as a community gathering place, according to Maine Preservation.

And in Bath, the Winter Street Church, owned by Sagadahoc Preservation, with construction contracting by Preservation Timber Framing, and the John E.L. Huse School Apartments, a project of Portland-based The Szanton Co., were recognized.

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 710-2336 or Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

The Francis Hotel, formerly known as the Mellen E. Bolster home, was built in 1881 on Congress Street in Portland.

The Schlotterbeck & Foss building, on Preble Street in Portland, was designed in the Art Deco-style by John Calvin Stevens. It’s one of four historic restoration projects in the city recognized by Maine Preservation.

The Plummer School in Falmouth was renovated to provide senior housing.

The Elijah Kellogg Church in Harpswell was originally built in 1843 and has long served as a community gathering spot.

The Winter Street Church in Bath was originally built in 1843 in the Gothic Revival style.