NORWAY — The Odd Fellows Hall on Main Street and St. Joseph’s Church in Lewiston were named two of Maine’s 10 most endangered historic places by Maine Preservation on Thursday.

Two buildings in Bridgton, The Goaddard House and Narramissic Farm, were also on the list.

Maine Preservation was set to announce their 16th Maine’s Most Endangered Historic Places List at a news conference at Portland City Hall on Thursday morning.

“Maine’s Most Endangered Historic Places List for 2013 illustrates the broad range of historic buildings and structures in our state,” said Greg Paxton, executive director of Maine Preservation.

“Preservation of these key structures can be a catalyst for community revitalization, economic development and continued quality of life for the citizens of Maine’s towns and cities,’ he said. “While historic preservation has done relatively well in the recent challenged economy, we must continue to wisely manage and use of our existing buildings, bolster our tax base and provide a firm foundation for future prosperity and quality of life, as this list illustrates.”

The Odd Fellows Hall in Norway once housed businesses and offices, as well as a ceremonial space for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge No. 16. The basement and first floor were built in 1894 after 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.


It sits next to the Norway Opera House, which also was once listed on Maine Preservation’s list but has since been partially rehabilitated. Five businesses occupy the first floor and fundraising continues to renovate the large theater area on the second floor.

But the Odd Fellows Hall has not met with such success. Sam Patel, a retailer in southern Maine, purchased the empty, three-story brick building in December from TD Bank.

Renovations had begun prior to that, but Patel has failed to continue that work. Earlier this year, vandals began breaking windows in the building, prompting the Board of Selectmen to threaten court action if the windows were not repaired.

Planning Board chairman and Norway Opera House Corp. President Dennis Gray said Wednesday that although there has been talk about reusing the building, there are no firm plans at this time.

Maine Preservation officials said the building urgently requires a development plan that can utilize its space to serve the community and help to maintain the historic downtown district.

In Lewiston, St. Joseph’s Church was abandoned in 2009 due to dwindling attendance. It was sold to Central Maine Healthcare, which initially announced plans to demolish it to create parking. Earlier this summer, Central Maine Healthcare temporarily withdrew its demolition application in order to review the property in light of the strong sentiment of the community.


The group is expected to return in a few months to discuss the results of their re-evaluation.

The church was designed by prominent 19th-century architect Patrick C. Keely and completed in 1867, making it the oldest Catholic church in the city.

The 1870 Goddard House in Bridgton sits on 3.9 acres of land near Adams Pond in the rustic village of South Bridgton. Many original Italianate features remain intact, yet the house stands in limbo. It needs an owner who will appreciate and work to preserve the house’s distinct architectural features, Maine Preservation said. The property is listed for sale through Linda Griffin at Pleasant River Properties, based in Windham.

Narramissic Farm, currently a historic house museum and event, festival and workshop location, sits on one of the highest points in Bridgton with 20 acres of fields and fantastic views. The property’s centerpieces, a 1797 farmhouse and 1830s barn, need maintenance.

Other sites listed include the Kennebec Arsenal in Augusta; Stevens School in Hallowell; Stackpole Bridge in Saco; Winnegance Store in Bath; Annie Mills Farm in Aurora; George Washington Lodge in Pembroke; B&A Caboose & Water Tower in Frenchville; and the Barrell Grove in York.

The Maine’s Most Endangered Historic Places List began in 1996 to identify and raise public awareness of the breadth and interest in preserving endangered and threatened historic properties and materials.

Maine Preservation is a statewide, nonprofit, membership organization that promotes and preserves historic places, buildings, downtowns and neighborhoods, strengthening the cultural and economic vitality of Maine communities.

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