Woodlawn has reached the halfway point in its $8.2-million campaign to reconstruct the estate’s carriage barn. The new building (shown in this rendering) was designed to be in keeping with the historic feel of the existing museum and grounds. OUDENS ELLO ARCHITECTURE

Woodlawn halfway to its fundraising goal

ELLSWORTH — With half the funding in hand, construction on a new education and event center at Woodlawn Museum could begin by next summer.

Woodlawn has raised $4 million of its $8.2-million goal for reconstructing the carriage barn on the 180-acre historic estate.

“The glass is only half full, and we’re excited about that, but we have lots of hard work ahead of us,” said Woodlawn Executive Director Joshua Torrance.

He said construction will not begin until the full fundraising goal has been met. The $8.2-million budget includes $5 million for building and site work, $1.2 million in associated costs and a $2 million endowment.

Matching grants helped Woodlawn meet the halfway mark. A private foundation has pledged $4 million in matching funding. An anonymous donor has pledged an additional $1 million challenge grant.

Donations from organizations, businesses and individuals have surpassed $1 million, fulfilling the $1 million matching grant. This brought the total to $2 million, which triggers the first half of the $4 million grant.

“Under the terms of our matching grant, the funds are dispersed in two phases,” Torrance explained. “We are now stepping into the final phase of the Campaign for Woodlawn and the momentum continues to grow.”

In addition to the matching grants, Woodlawn has received a $50,000 grant from the Davis Family Foundation and $157,000 from area businesses. Torrance said members of the Hancock County Trustees of Public Reservations, the board that oversees Woodlawn, have contributed roughly $700,000 to the project.

“I think it speaks to the dedication of our trustees,” Torrance said.

The plan is to reconstruct Woodlawn’s carriage barn to its original size and appearance (the barn was downsized and remodeled in 1940).

The new post-and-beam structure will provide year-round exhibit, event and educational space. It also will allow for the continued growth of the Woodlawn School Program, which currently serves 1,300 students annually, free of charge.

Plans for the barn include a 2,665-square-foot multi-purpose community gathering and educational program space which can accommodate up to 178 people. There also will be a 1,114-square-foot exhibition gallery, kitchen, office space and a lobby, which will house a ticket counter, gift shop and small exhibit.

Torrance said the project is an opportunity for the community to have a “world-class facility” that could host “everything from corporate gatherings to weddings to other organizations that need more space.”

The project architect is Boston-based Oudens Ello Architecture. E.L. Shea of Ellsworth will serve as construction manager.

Torrance said the board reached the first phase of its fundraising goal ahead of schedule.

“It is great to have so many people excited about this project and committed to its success,” he said. “Donations are very much welcome and every dollar that is given to us is matched dollar for dollar.”

To learn more about the Campaign for Woodlawn and make a gift, visit www.woodlawnmuseum.org.

Cyndi Wood

Cyndi Wood

New Media Editor
Cyndi oversees web content and social media for The Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander newspapers. The Ellsworth native joined the staff of The American in 2007 as a reporter. When she's not in front of a computer screen, you can find her in her garage working on an ever-growing stack of DIY projects.