Historic Preservation in Rockland, Maine

Rockland was as hot and steamy and the rest of Maine on Friday, July 22 but inside 449 Main Street it was delightfully cool. A surprising number of preservationists, developers, townspeople, and media people gathered to celebrate the extension of the Maine Historic Preservation Tax Credit with a ribbon cutting for one of the most recently completed projects to benefit from these credits.

Greg Paxton of Maine Preservation, Roxanne Eflin of the Maine Downtown Center and Senator Chris Rector, state Senator from Thomaston and GrowSmart Maine Board member, spoke eloquently about the economic impact the historic preservation tax credit has had on Maine and will now have into the future. Senator Rector, sponsor of the bill, praised GrowSmart Maine for coordinating the highly effective testimony presented at the public hearing for the bill.

Following a ribbon cutting by Rick Rockwell, owner of 449 Main Street, we were all treated to a tour of the building. Rick explained that all the work was done by local contractors and craftsmen. The building is spectacular. Original windows, doors and granite pillars are in evidence. Hardwood floors gleam and the tin ceilings have been preserved and painted on both the first and second floor.

The first floor is occupied by retailer Cutwater Outfitters. The other floors have yet to be leased so we were able to look in every nook and cranny. The second floor has spacious offices off a wide center hall offering views of Main Street or the harbor. The third floor has been transformed into two artist loft apartments, each with a huge skylight, Maine granite counters, elegant bathrooms and ample space for painting or sculpting.

The icing on the cake is the ‘green’ roof. Home of the HVAC systems and skylights it also boasts a lovely deck overlooking the harbor. The rest of the roof is all plants, specifically sedum which was in full bloom despite the heat, and small pathways allowing the minimal maintenance they need.

What a gem! And what a cool way to spend a very hot day.

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