Eastbrook voters to decide on funding for historic building fix



Scott Homer, a structural engineer with Bangor architectural firm Ames Associates, stands at the top of a ladder to take a look at the Eastbrook Town House. Holding the ladder at the bottom is Oscar Weigang, a member of the Eastbrook Town House Preservation Committee. COURTESY OF EASTBROOK TOWN HOUSE PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

Scott Homer, a structural engineer with Bangor architectural firm Ames Associates, stands at the top of a ladder to take a look at the Eastbrook Town House. Holding the ladder at the bottom is Oscar Weigang, a member of the Eastbrook Town House Preservation Committee.
COURTESY OF EASTBROOK TOWN HOUSE PRESERVATION COMMITTEE

EASTBROOK — Among the questions that will be put to voters at the annual Town Meeting later this month is whether they want to use funds received as a result of nearby wind turbines to help shore up an historic building from the late 19th century.

The Eastbrook Town House Preservation Committee has received two grants in order to restore and preserve the structure from which it takes its name.

The building, which dates to 1880, has been used as a dance hall, polling place, movie theater, library and more over the years. It has fallen into disuse and disrepair, however, and now a group of citizens wants to see it preserved.

A $4,500 grant was received from the Belvedere Fund Historic Preservation Grants Program of the Maine Community Foundation, in cooperation with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

That money needs to be matched with an equal amount from the town. Selectman Julie Curtis said voters will be asked to take $4,500 in community benefit funds, received from wind developer SunEdison (formerly First Wind) as a result of wind turbines being erected in nearby unorganized townships.

Curtis said the town has accumulated several years’ worth of those funds as a result of the Bull Hill project and has not spent any of the money to date.

The combined $9,000 will be used to raise the building in order to put a new foundation underneath it.

Eastbrook’s Town Meeting will take place Monday, May 23, at 7 p.m. at the Charles L. Yeo Community Center (958 Eastbrook Road).

Another grant came from the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust, which awarded a grant of $3,600 to support development of plans for the rehabilitation of the Town House.

The five-member Preservation Committee said that money will be used to “support development of plans for the rehabilitation of the building.”

Ames Associates, a Bangor architectural firm, has been hired to supply those plans and assure the result conforms to standards for historic preservation adopted by the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

The Town House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, and was described by one architect as “an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture.”

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.