Wilson Hall question resurfacing in Bucksport

BUCKSPORT — The question of what to do with Wilson Hall, Bucksport’s historic and leaky former seminary building, will be back on a Town Council agenda for discussion and possible action in the near future.

Most recently, State Rep. Richard Campbell (R-Orrington) was looking at the structure to renovate into “high-end senior residences.” But, that proposal is now off the table.

“The person he [Campbell] was teaming up with got into a financial bind or a legal bind so consequently he didn’t have the funding he was going to have,” said Mayor David Keene.

Town Councilor Rob Carmichael updated the board on recent discussions at the Infrastructure and Property Committee meeting, which he chairs.

Carmichael said the question is “Where do we go from here? We sort of brainstormed a number of different things.”

“The sentiment of the council is we want to make a decision on this once and for all,” Carmichael said Tuesday. “The town manager will get updated quotes to tear it down or to shore up the roofing so we can make a better decision as to where to go next with it,” he said.

“It is stable, but it’s the water that’s continuing to do damage to the building,” Carmichael said.

Keene said the town has taken a cupola off the building to relieve some weight on the roof.

Once the information is obtained, the town will disseminate it to the public.

“We allow public comment and then vote as a council on what we’re going to do with the building,” Carmichael told the public at the council meeting.

Town Farm Road resident Don White said “before the Dick Campbell thing, there was talk about preservation. Is that conversation still alive?”

“There was some conversation about grant writing,” White said. “I just throw that out because it sounds like it’s getting dire here.”

No date has been set yet on the public hearing or vote.

The building was once a Methodist Seminary. It was built in 1851 and is one of nine Bucksport properties that are on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Jennifer Osborn

Jennifer Osborn

Reporter and columnist at The Ellsworth American
News Reporter Jennifer Osborn covers news and features on the Blue Hill Peninsula and Deer Isle-Stonington. She welcomes tips and story ideas. She also writes the Gone Shopping column. Email Jennifer with your suggestions at [email protected] or call 667-2576.

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