HOPE, Maine — When Chris and Lindsay Pinchbeck decided to open a bagpipe workshop and a children’s art studio in Hope, they knew they had to respect the building they had chosen, a structure nearly as old as the town itself.
When the couple bought the piece of land on the main corner in town, it had an 1820s Colonial farmhouse on it. The home had been abandoned for five years and was rotting away, Chris Pinchbeck said. He proceeded with caution as he tore it down. He couldn’t simply rip down one of the oldest, most visible buildings in the town. So he saved what he could, including some 12-by-12 white pine sills he plans to integrate into the bagpipe workshop he plans to build.
“They’re from 1822. If I can get another 100 years out of them that’s awesome. We’re trying to preserve the downtown metropolis of Hope,” Pinchbeck joked. “There’s a lot of emotion [involved in taking] down a home in Hope — a lot of people in this town grew up in that home. You don’t tear it down for no reason. We want to bring it back to its majesty.”
The home also once acted as a meetinghouse and as a post office. When Pinchbeck pulled out a framed photo of downtown Hope dated around 1915, the farmhouse seems to make up about a third of the busy part of town — creating a trinity with the general store and the church.
In place of the home, Pinchbeck will construct a two-story bagpipe workshop building which also will have rental apartment space and ideally another retail storefront that someone could rent.
He also will erect another building by next winter where his wife, Lindsay Pinchbeck, will teach children’s art classes. The art building likely also will be used for community events, such as yoga or pilates classes, she said.