MDF’s Maine Downtown Center awards $656,789 in subgrants for historic preservation projects supporting economic development in rural downtowns

HALLOWELL – MDF’s Maine Downtown Center is pleased to award $656,789 under the REvitalizeME Gen2 National Park Service Subgrant Program for four historic preservation projects involving historic buildings in downtown Maine. These projects all support the economic development of rural town centers during this critical time.

“We are thrilled to present these awards for catalytic projects in downtown Maine,” said Anne Ball, program director, Maine Downtown Center. “The program aimed to make the link between economic development and historic preservation. These projects illustrate this in four unique downtown areas in four different Maine counties and in four different types of buildings: a library, a theater, a mill and a former jail. »

The four awards prevailed through a process to identify new opportunities that will have a fundamental impact on economic revitalization and historic preservation:

  • Colonial Theatre, Augusta – $160,229 – for window and exterior door repairs
  • Old Hancock County Sheriff’s House and Jail, Ellsworth – $200,000 – for masonry repairs
  • Porter Memorial Library, Machias – $48,000 – for plans and specifications to add an elevator to make the library accessible for the first time in its history and to redesign the interior space
  • Bag Mill, Rumford – $200,000 – roof repair and energy efficiency improvements; $48,560 — for plans and specifications and a window survey

MDF’s partner in this effort was the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. “We are pleased to be able to support the rehabilitation work of several historically significant buildings,” said Kirk Mohney, Director and State Historic Preservation Officer. “The variety of award-winning buildings highlights the rich architectural heritage of downtown Maine.”

The REvitalizeME Gen2 Subgrant Program was funded by the Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grant Program of the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The objective of the program is to support the rehabilitation of historic properties that will stimulate economic development in rural communities.

“One of MDF’s strategic priorities is to improve the economic vitality of downtown areas across the state,” said Yellow Light Breen, President and CEO of MDF. “Even in tough economic times, rehabilitating our historic properties strengthens the long-term prospects for keeping businesses and jobs in our downtowns. These grants allow owners of downtown historic buildings to be good stewards of their buildings and stimulate economic development.

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