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November 18th at 7.00 am sharp, Liberty Hall's belvedere and new cupola roof are scheduled to "fly".  Everything is in place to ensure a successful operation.  Jeremy Whitehouse of Consigli Construction and his team have spent weeks preparing for this moment.

Machiasport residents will gather with press, television cameras and photographers for a momentous day.  Capped by its newly restored gold leaf scrolled weathervane, Andrew Gilson's masterpiece will finally be restored to its former glory.



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 Phase 2 Restoration Update

The Phase 2 restoration work at Liberty Hall is coming to a climax.  Consigli Construction are hoping to "fly" the elaborately reconstructed belvedere and new cupola in the next two weeks -- weather permitting.  

The building is now being painted.  Due to the cold temperatures, Liberty Hall has been wrapped and an interior heating system is being used to ensure that the primer and paint dry.

For more pictures, see Gallery.   



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Liberty Hall's New Cupola

The roof of the cupola is now being sheathed in copper shingles by Victor and Russell Wright of Heritage Company Coppersmiths.  The new shingles will replace the wood shingles originally used on the roof when it was constructed in 1873.  Copper shingles will enhance the new roof’s durability, eliminate maintenance problems, and conform to modern building codes.  The copper will be shiny for a few months, John Turk explained, and then will become a deeper burnished color, “almost like the color of an old penny.” Eventually, it will turn to a shade of light green.

The new mansard cupola was constructed in two large matching sections and was recently assembled on the grounds of Liberty Hall.  There it was hoisted onto a platform by crane.  After it is topped with the copper shingles, it will move steeply upward, carried by an even larger crane, to the very top of Liberty Hall.  Soon the mansard roof will be capped by the original gold-leaf scrolled weather vane, recently restored, and will rest on top of the elaborately carved square arched belvedere, now also being meticulously reconstructed. 



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Cupola Arrives in Machiasport

A very large, curved, and curious piece of history has arrived in Machiasport on a flatbed truck.  The truck, en route from Blue Hill, headed for historic Liberty Hall, now undergoing restoration as a cultural and community center.   Transported from the workshop of Michael Hewes, the striking prow-shaped structure is the new mansard cupola for Liberty Hall, modeled on the original one, which disappeared many years ago.

Until now, the French-inspired Victorian style cupola has only been seen in historic photographs of Liberty Hall taken around 1900. 

“No one who’s alive today has ever actually seen it on the building,” says Frank Foster, an 88 year-old historian and retired executive.  “It will be fascinating to see it once it’s back up there.”

The ornamental roof, which will soon sit atop the belvedere tower of Liberty Hall, has been painstakingly rebuilt, using the old photographs as evidence.  John Turk, of TTL-Architects in Portland, created blueprints after careful examination of the historic images.  He also used a piece of curved framing from one of the original windows as a guide to determine the scale and measurements of the original mansard cupola.  The original piece of window framing was recently discovered in the collections of the Machiasport Historical Society.

  



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Work Continues

The beautiful Fall weather continues to help the restoration efforts at Liberty Hall.  The rotten timber framing has now been replaced with new wood; the windows have been repaired and are back at the site; and the reconstructed weather vane is complete (for pictures, see Gallery).  

The north side of Liberty Hall (top picture) has been scraped and is ready for painting.  

Work is continuing on the south east corner of the building to repair the rot (lower picture).  

More pictures coming soon!



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