NORWAY — The roof on the 1884 L.F. Pike & Son store on Main Street buckled under the weight of snow Thursday night or early Friday. Police cordoned off the area to prevent injuries should it collapse.

“I’m not taking any chances on whether it’s safe or not,” police Chief Rob Federico said. He was particularly concerned about the impending storm on Sunday causing further damage to the building.

The men’s clothing store, also known as The Blue Store, closed its doors several years ago after serving the clothing needs of boys and men in Western Maine and beyond for the past 130 years. It is one of dozens of buildings in the Norway Downtown National Historic District and one of the few that survived the conflagration of 1894.

Gary Dean, husband of building owner Lesley Dean, said a determination on whether the building will have to come down will be made after they get the snow off the roof and see the damage. A pitched metal roof was put over the flat roof two years ago to prevent the snow buildup, but Dean said the the last two snowstorms were too much.

“We’ve been watching it, but the last two storms did it,” Dean said.

He and his son, Ryan, were trying to get snow off the roof Friday afternoon.


The interior of the building and its contents did not appear to be damaged, he said.

The building has been on the market for the past two years and the insurance was taken off the building when they closed the doors, Dean said. There is a small amount of clothing left in the building. Most of it was sold off during a limited time sale a year ago to reduce the inventory.

According to a historical walking tour of downtown Norway published by Norway Downtown, the building features a high false front for signage, prevalent in Victorian-era commercial buildings. The distinctive blue paint is traced to its use in the 1880s by the men’s chain store in Lewiston, known as The Blue Store.

Code Enforcement Officer Joelle Corey-Whitman was unavailable Friday for comment.

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