SABATTUS — The former Cushman Tavern on the Sabattus-Lisbon town line was declared a dangerous building and ordered demolished by Sabattus selectmen and Lisbon councilors Tuesday evening.
The old tavern, which is listed as being at 430 Ridge Road in Lisbon and 921 Middle Road in Sabattus, was deemed a danger because its roof has started to cave in.
Sabattus and Lisbon Code Enforcement Officer Dennis Douglass said there is a hole in the roof which has grown nearly three times in size over the last year.
“The home is not maintained and is in danger of collapsing,” Douglass said. “It’s a danger to enter.” He said there are also missing soffit boards and rotting rafters.
Both towns were in agreement that the building was dangerous, but neither really wants to see it demolished.
“I don’t’ think there’s a question of this building being dangerous. But there’s still an opportunity for this to change course. But we need to make a decision now to get things going,” Lisbon Councilor Fern Larochelle said.
The historic building was built in 1825 and features fresco paintings of oversized trees, ships and New England charm by Auburn artist Orison Wood.
The building owner has 30 days to demolish the building and if it isn’t it becomes the towns’ responsibility.
The home was deeded to Robert and Pamela McGuire in April, 2001. Robert died in 2014, and the home is abandoned.
Pamela McGuire did not respond to either Douglass or the towns’ lawyer, Mike Carey, about Tuesday’s public hearing. No one was at the hearing to represent McGuire or any other legal heir.
“The last thing I’d want to see is that building torn down, it has a lot of historical significance,” Douglass said. “But we can’t get any movement on the owner’s side.”
“When the 30 days are up and we don’t want to demolish the home, we don’t have to,” Sabattus board Chairman Mark Duquette said.
They are hoping someone will come forward with a solution, but it would ultimately be up to the homeowner to act on any improvements.