Pleasant Street, Auburn. Contributed photo

The First Universalist Church of Auburn has marked the 145th anniversary of its building, dedicated on March 23, 1876.

The original Universalist Society was organized in 1828 by residents of Minot, Danville, and Lewiston. The group’s first church building was on High Street until the congregation outgrew it.

Church member and local shoe manufacturer Ara Cushman made a proposition to donate a lot on Elm Street, extending from Pleasant Street to Spring Street, if congregants would erect a church within the village proper.

The church building, a large and complex brick edifice in the Gothic Revival style, cost $45,000 to construct — over $1 million in today’s currency. Although some changes have been made, the overall design integrity has been maintained as a major Auburn landmark.

After the merger of the Universalist and Unitarian denominations in 1961, the church officially became known as the First Universalist Church of Auburn, Maine, Unitarian Universalist. Major alterations to the church building were completed in 1964. An addition was made in 2002 to make the church handicapped accessible.

The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.

Sunday worship services are held at 10 a.m. on Zoom.

For more information, visit or email [email protected].

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