Bangor Opera House restoration lauded

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff
Posted June 02, 2009, at 9:35 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — The nonprofit group Maine Preservation has recognized the Penobscot Theatre Company for its restoration of the Bangor Opera House facade.

The theater company was awarded the Community Revitalization Award at a May 21 ceremony held at the Maine Irish American Heritage Center, according to a recent press release. The renovation of the facade at the Opera House in downtown Bangor was one of 10 projects honored by Maine Preservation.

“This project was a true community effort,” Greg Paxton, executive director of Maine Preservation, said last week. “The rehabilitation preserves and enhances a lively cultural venue within the heart of one of Maine’s leading revitalized historic downtown areas.”

The facade of the building was constructed between 1919 and 1920 and restored over the past three years. The facade was repaired and repointed with the complete replacement of the pre-cast concrete. In addition, the sash windows were restored, the metal flashing was rebent and painted, and the glass and metal front doors were replaced with mahogany doors.

The new marquee, designed to replicate the original, was installed in December. It is constructed from aluminum and steel, with 270 small lights underneath.

“I am honored that our work to honor the past of our beautiful building has been recognized statewide,” Scott R.C. Levy, Penobscot Theatre’s producing artistic director, said of the award. “I hope many people will plan on coming to a show soon and seeing the restoration for themselves.”

Most of the funding for the renovation of the facade came from public funds, including $285,000 through Bangor’s Community Development Block Grant program, a $15,00 grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and money from the Stephen and Tabitha King Foundation,

Maine Preservation also recognized restoration and rehabilitation work at the North New Portland Community Church, the American Lighthouse Foundation of Rockland for work at lighthouses in Cape Elizabeth and Pemaquid Point, the city of Portland for the Congress Street Historic District in Portland, and the Lockwood-Hathaway mill in Waterville.

Each year, the group honors projects around the state. Maine Preservation is a statewide member-based historic preservation organization dedicated to promoting the preservation and vitality of historic places in Maine.

For further information on the awards, visit www.mainepreservation.org/2009MainePreservationHonorAwards.htm.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/06/02/living/bangor-opera-house-restoration-lauded/ printed on September 22, 2014