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More grant success!

 

The Friends of Liberty Hall have been awarded $20,000 from the Maine Community Foundation's Belvedere Fund.   The funds will go toward the restoration of the rear facade of Liberty Hall.   In particular, the MCF grant will allow for the return and reinstallation of four rear windows next summer.

 

In August, Jeremy Whitehouse of Whitehouse Management and Construction Company supervised the removal of the existing windows from the back of Liberty Hall 

They have been taken to the workshop of Jacobs Glass and Restoration in Winslow.    Here they will be repaired and restored and a fourth window manufactured to go into the space on the second floor of Liberty Hall where there had previously be a fire exit.  

 

The very generous support provided by the Fisher Foundation, the Davis Family Foundation and the Maine Community Belvedere Fund enables the Friends of Liberty Hall to continue the important process of restoration.  The Friends remain committed to returning Liberty Hall to the community.  As we move forward, we remain grateful for the continuing support of the Town of Machiasport and Maine Historic Preservation Commission.




Downeast Foxfire Camp at Liberty Hall

Photographs courtesy of Dylan Ladds



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Downeast Foxfire Camp at Liberty Hall

The Downeast Foxfire Camp led by Arista Holden and a group of 13 intrepid sailors, ages 17-mid 60s and hailing from Maine to Miami, Rhode Island to Indiana, inaugurated a new and exciting phase in the Liberty Hall restoration project.   Originating as a program of Greenhorns (greenhorns.org), the Camp began and ended in Liberty Hall.  For the first time in recent history, visitors were hosted overnight in the building.   

 

Over the course of a week in August, the camp community enjoyed the rare and special beauty of Machiasport and surrounding islands and bays.  Writing to the Friends of Liberty Hall after the conclusion of the highly successful Camp, Arista said: "how lucky we each felt for the privilege to live here for the week, including the opportunity to build a community, sail and row an 18th century human and wind powered boat, and crafting with birch bark and generally moving from camp to camp by the rhythm of the tides. We were able to deepen into a sense of place and connection to the land . . .  The Hall anchored the group and made for an easy start and easy end of the trip—-thanks for being so accommodating!"

 

The Friends of Liberty Hall look forward to welcoming Arista and the Downeast Foxfire Camp to Machiasport next summer.   Many thanks also go to Severine von Tscharner Fleming of Greenhorns, whose energy and initiative have re-invigorated historic preservation and community building in Downeast Maine.

 

 



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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



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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.  



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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.



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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."



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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.

 



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Courtesy of The Downeast Coastal Press

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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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