Halls Away Downeast

The Friends of Liberty Hall are partnering in a number of summer activities with the Greenhorns, a grassroots non-profit dedicated to promoting and supporting young farmers. Headed by Severine von Tcharner Fleming, the Greenhorns are currently restoring the historic Odd Fellows Hall in Pembroke.   


Liberty Hall is part of Halls Away Downeast, a two-day bus tour that offers a unique opportunity for visitors interested in historic preservation to see some of the most significant gems of Washington County.  Beginning in Ellsworth, the tour will include the Ruggles House, the Burnham Tavern, the Gates House, Liberty Hall, the Odd Fellows Hall, different sites in Eastport and an overnight stay at Tide Mill Farm.   


The tour, cost $350, is scheduled for July 21-22.     

For further information, visit http://greenhorns.org/events 


Grant Success

Grant success!    The Friends of Liberty Hall are very pleased to announce two grant awards.   In April, the Fisher Foundation awarded the Liberty Hall project $5000; and in June the Davis Family Foundation awarded the project $28,000.   The Friends are delighted and greatly appreciate this generous support.


The funds will go toward the repair and restoration of the rear or West Facade of Liberty Hall.  We expect Jeremy Whitehouse of Whitehouse Construction to begin work later this summer.  All work will be done under the supervision of historic preservation architect, John Turk of Resurgence Engineering and willbe carried out in according to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

 Liberty Hall 2018


Liberty Hall: the next phase

The Liberty Hall project is on the move.  After several years of careful deliberation and discussion, the Friends are pleased to announce new plans for the building.   We have hired a new fundraiser, Debbie Smith and Rick Heller has taken on the position of Project Director.  Together with the Friends, they are working to articulate a vision for Liberty Hall and secure the necessary funds for the building's interior restoration.

John Turk (architect)  and Jeremy Whitehouse (construction manager), key players in the highly successful Phase 2 restoration, are actively drawing up plans for the next stages of work.

A top priority is the repair and restoration of the rear wall of Liberty Hall, usually known as the West Facade.  A lack of funds during Phase 2 and anticipated ADA adjustments meant this part of the building was not restored, but it now needs urgent intervention.  

A number of applications to funding bodies will be made in the early New Year for work on the West Facade.  

The Steps Take Shape

Despite the cold weather, progress is being made on Liberty Hall's new front steps.  

New Front Steps for Liberty Hall

The front steps of Liberty Hall are being replaced.  After many years of decline, both the concrete and wooden stairs to the front of the building had become unsafe.  With the generous help of the Town, a brand new set of steps will be soon be completed.

New Front Steps

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New Front Steps
Phase 3 Restoration grant award

The Friends of Liberty Hall have been awarded a $5,000 matching grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s grant program, the Hart Family Fund for Small Towns Preservation Fund. The prestigious award, one of only six made as a result of a national selection process, will be used toward design and architectural plans for restoration of the interior of Liberty Hall.  This grant is crucial to the new phase of fundraising that is intended to return the building to the community use. 

In announcing the award, National Trust Northeast Regional Office Director Wendy Nicholas said, "With these start-up dollars, Machiasport, Maine joins the hundreds of other communities across the country actively ensuring that America's architectural and cultural heritage is preserved."

Liberty Hall Summer 2010

Dedication ceremony at Liberty Hall

On August 6th, the Friends of Liberty Hall hosted a dedication ceremony to celebrate the completion of the exterior restoration and to formally name the magnificent belvedere in honor of Chip and Judy Knowlton.  In front of a gathering of almost fifty people – town officials, residents, donors and supporters and many of the key construction personnel responsible for the Phase Two restoration, David Freedberg, the President of the Friends thanked the Knowltons for their generous gift to the Town of Machiasport that ensured the return of Liberty Hall to its earlier glory.  Freedberg was joined by Suzanne McCurdy, great-grand daughter of the building’s architect, Andrew Gilson and Frank Foster, local historian – both of whom paid tribute to the collective endeavor and success of the project.  For additional pictures, see Gallery.


Courtesy of The Downeast Coastal Press

Chip Knowlton, courtesy of The Downeast Coastal Press
Grant for Liberty Hall

The Friends of Liberty Hall have received a $15,000 grant from Maine Community Foundation's Belvedere Fund.  On the advice of the project architect, John Turk, the award will be used to put storm windows on the building.  In Phase Two of the restoration, all Liberty Hall's original windows were repaired and repainted.  Storm windows will increase the longevity of these original windows and offer important protection to the building as a whole.  

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Liberty Hall Winter 2009

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