NORWAY, Maine — The owner of the former Odd Fellows Hall in downtown Norway has told town officials that he plans to board up broken windows on the historic building on Main Street.
Building owner Sam Patel told Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman last week that a glass company has measured the windows and ordered the glass. He also said he asked a contractor to cover the windows with plywood until the glass could be installed.
Patel, a retailer in southern Maine, purchased the empty three-story brick building in December from TD Bank. It stands at 380 Main St. next to the Opera House. It was transferred to Jasim LLC, a limited liability company registered in Westbrook, on Dec. 14, 2012.
The basement and first floor of the hall were built in 1894 after the great fire destroyed much of the downtown business district. The other floors were added in 1910. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the historic downtown district.
The third floor contained a high-ceiling ceremonial space for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Norway Lodge No. 16, who owned the building during the 19th century. The second floor had a kitchen and large dining area, along with law offices and a court house. The first floor has traditionally been storefronts.
Dawn and Harvey Solomon of New Horizons Capital Investment in Norway purchased the building in July 2008 for $63,500. They told town officials they planned to renovate it and reopen storefronts on the first floor. They gutted the interior and secured the back wall before the bank foreclosed on the property in 2011.
Renovations stopped in 2010 just before Dawn Solomon was charged and subsequently convicted of bilking the state’s MaineCare system out of more than $4 million. The building was put up for auction by TD Bank along with a dozen other Solomon properties. Nothing has been done to the building since that time.
A study of Odd Fellows Hall by Resurgence Engineering and Preservation Inc. of Portland several years ago indicated it would cost more than $800,000 to fully renovate it.