NORWAY – The owner of the former Odd Fellows hall on Main Street said renovations at the historic building may take three to five years to complete, but crews are working to ensure the building’s structural stability.

“Because we pride ourselves on the quality of our work, we are taking our time to make sure we are thorough and that the stabilization efforts will structurally ensure the sustained longevity of the building while maintaining its integrity and historic appearance,” Harvey Solomon said.

Solomon, along with his wife, Dawn, of New Horizon Capital Investment in Norway, purchased the vacant building last July for $63,500 from Northeast Bank in Lewiston, which held the mortgage.

The basement and first floor of the three-story brick structure, which is next to the Opera House, was built in 1894 after a fire that year destroyed much of the downtown. The second and third floors were added in 1911. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is part of the historic downtown district. The interior, which once housed the district court, a jail and other businesses, has been gutted.

Solomon said crews are working on foundation issues and securing the back exterior wall by constructing a secondary interior wall to provide added strength.

“We will be securing the exterior bricks where there has been atrophy and restoring the facade,” he said, to bring back the building’s 19th century look.

Solomon said temporary heating and electrical solutions have been implemented to allow the work to occur, but the more permanent, long-term solutions will be installed when interior renovations begin.

Solomon has been a visible presence in the community since he began the project.

“We love this building and are excited about restoring this important piece of history for the town,” Solomon said. “While we all are excited about the enjoying the building when the restoration is complete, we ask that the townspeople be patient with us, understanding that this is a very large project that we are working on along with other development and project maintenance responsibilities that may come up.”

Solomon has said that once the work is complete, he is hoping to get a high-scale restaurant into the first floor, offices in the second floor and apartments or condominiums on the third floor.

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