June 17, 2018
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Demolition to begin on White Canoe Building in Old Town

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

OLD TOWN, Maine — Demolition is set to begin Saturday of one of several buildings formerly owned by the Old Town Canoe Co.

Coming down is the White Canoe Building, a two-story light-colored structure on Brunswick Street directly across the street from the large red brick structure that also belonged to the world-famous canoe and kayak maker.

Old Town Canoe acquired White Canoe in the mid-1980s, according to news stories in the Bangor Daily News archives.

The removal of the White Canoe Building is a small part of the city’s effort to redevelop properties formerly used by the manufacturer, including almost 6 acres of downtown property it acquired after Old Town Canoe moved its operations to Gilman Falls Avenue in 2009.

Its buildings downtown and near the city’s fire station have been vacant ever since.

Last May, the city landed a $600,000 brownfield grant that will allow it to clean up the asbestos-ridden historic Old Town Canoe building. Brownfield grants are awarded to help refurbish properties that may be contaminated by hazardous materials, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s website.

The grant will go toward removing asbestos and other hazardous wastes from the building, as well as capping soil contaminated by years of industrial operations on the land, before renovations begin.

The White Canoe Building is not part of the brownfield grant, City Manager Bill Mayo said Friday. Its demolition is being funded separately.

To that end, city councilors Thursday night accepted a $20,777 demolition bid from Vaughn Thibodeau Inc. Of that total, $10,000 will be transferred from the Old Town Development LLC fund, and the rest will come from fund balance.

The state also is paying County Abatement Inc. $23,180 for its part of the project.

Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that the White Canoe Building is on North Brunswick Street.

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