NORWAY — A new front entrance is planned for the iconic Gingerbread House this year, according to a group overseeing the restoration of the 1851 house at the head of Main Street.

The Gingerbread House on Main Street in Norway is scheduled to get a new entrance, updated windows and a porch this year. Advertiser-Democrat photo by Leslie H. Dixon

“Plans for this year include creating a new, permanent and attractive entrance on the east end of the house, and completing the stream-side exterior, including the restoration of the remaining windows,” Joan Beal of the Friends of the Gingerbread House said in a recent statement.

“With the completion of these efforts, the Friends of the Gingerbread House hope to move on to rebuilding a small porch at the turret entrance. The full porch, which was removed from the building prior to its being moved to its current location, can not be completely replaced to wrap around the turret, so a smaller porch, compatible with the building’s features, will be built at the front entrance to the turret.”

Beal said the original first level of the porch will eventually be replaced on the front of the house.

The group will have an open house this summer for the public to see the progress and tour two-story, 88-foot-long house.

Last summer, work included completing the carpentry and painting of the turret and its restored windows. The east and Main Street sides were repaired and painted. The work was helped by an anonymous donation of $15,000, which the community matched.

Also last year, the society launched the Corbel Circle project. Donors who pledge $1,000 or more over the following two years will become part of the Gingerbread House Corbel Circle and receive a painted replica of a corbel, a distinctive architectural feature on the building. All Corbel Circle donations will also be applied toward the $15,000 match.

The Norway Landmarks Preservation Society, which functions locally as Friends of the Gingerbread House, has been raising money for 10 years to rehabilitate the former Evans-Cummings House. In 2011, it was moved 950 feet west on Main Street.

The restoration plan was developed in 2012 by Margaret Gaertner of the Portland firm of Barba + Wheelock Architects.

Beal said the community has made the effort possible.

“It has also helped to demonstrate to granting agencies the value and commitment of this community effort,” she said.

Donations can be made to Friends of the Gingerbread House, P.O. Box 525, Norway ME 04268, or online at www.gingerbreadhousenorway.org

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