DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — New homeowners of the Masonic Temple Building in downtown Dover-Foxcroft prepare to restore the additional-than-century-aged framework and change it into business and housing house.
Many years ago, the constructing had big storefront windows and housed neighborhood outlets — a little something brothers Kevin, Robert and Steve Jankunas strategy to carry back to improve the downtown. They purchased the framework at 54 East Principal St. in March.
The brothers’ program will save a historic building and supplies retail space and much-desired housing in Piscataquis, Maine’s poorest and a single of the most rural counties.
Like other folks opening new corporations and flipping areas in Maine, the Jankunas brothers noticed an prospect for a modernized, combined-use constructing that also preserves exclusive architectural options. They program to transform the Masonic Constructing — built in 1869 and committed in 1870 — into retail and business room on the initial ground and residences on the second and third floors, Kevin Jankunas said.
The Masonic Temple on East Main Avenue in downtown Dover-Foxcroft, pictured on Tuesday A photograph dated February 2021 shows an interior spot and exceptional architectural components of the Masonic Temple in Dover-Foxcroft. Credit: Valerie Royzman / BDN Courtesy of Kevin Jankunas
“When we achieved with the Realtor, we ended up like, ‘Wow, this constructing is rather remarkable and has some wonderful probable,’” he explained.
The new homeowners plan to update the facade and renovate the 1st flooring, which would most likely property a few firms, in the next 12 months. That incorporates updating vinyl siding that is in inadequate issue and opening up windows on the reduced stage, furthermore electrical and other upkeep do the job, Kevin Jankunas explained.
Renovating the second and third flooring phone calls for some creativity because the 3rd ground functions a large, open up area, he mentioned. A sizable luxury loft might get the job done there, but the Jankunases are still brainstorming and will do the job with contractors and architects to determine the finest use of the place, he explained.
Mountain View Correctional Facility in Charleston arranged for inmates to aid take away household furniture from the old creating, which wrapped up previous 7 days, Dover-Foxcroft Masonic Association President Tom Boone claimed.
The former proprietor of the creating, who acquired it about five yrs ago, did not make any improvements to the historic structure, he explained. The man then died, so the Jankunas brothers purchased the constructing from his estate.
The Masonic Affiliation paid about $10,000 a yr for heating and electrical power due to the fact it utilised the place for lodging and other applications, Boone explained.
A newspaper clipping from 1869 previews new corporations and a Masonic Corridor to be developed in what today is acknowledged as downtown Dover-Foxcroft A newspaper clipping from 1931 tells viewers about new suppliers coming to the Masonic Temple. Credit rating: Courtesy of Dover-Foxcroft Historic Culture
“It will come down to economics for us,” he stated. “It is a major constructing, and it is incredibly, extremely high-priced to heat. We’re all having older and we have a lot of stairs to climb.”
Many years ago, the affiliation had various hundred users, Boone stated. Now there are concerning 70 and 80, including some more youthful customers.
The constructing, constructed by Isaac Meder, was residence to place of work and retail stores on the very first flooring and doctors’ and lawyers’ offices on the second ground, claimed Chris Maas, a director at the Dover-Foxcroft Historical Society. The 3rd floor was the Masonic Corridor, he mentioned.
“Originally, and for a quite extended time, George Meder experienced his view shop there,” he claimed, noting the constructing has noticed quite a few tenants more than the years. “Next doorway was Elmer Cole’s drug retail store. On the other facet, typically outfits merchants [and] at times grocery outlets.”
The Charlotte White Heart — an company that furnished social providers to men and women influenced by cognitive or developmental disabilities, mental health and fitness difficulties and mind accidents — created a home there in the late 1970s.
The masonic association has quickly moved throughout the road to a area over the Dover Legitimate Worth Hardware store. Users will meet there for about two many years though they function on boosting cash to establish a new one-floor lodge in Dover-Foxcroft, Boone said.
“I think that it [the Masonic Building] has long gone to pretty excellent possession,” he stated. “It may perhaps take some time, but down the road you’ll see a large improvement.”
The new proprietors are taking a downtown revitalization plan, concluded in 2003, into thing to consider as they go after the challenge. The review mentions the Masonic Building as a sturdy focal level in city, noting “every energy really should be manufactured to revitalize and restore this creating as a historic downtown element.”
The building’s 2nd and 3rd floors have exceptional traits, these as inlays on the hardwood flooring, that the Jankunases will try out to preserve and include into their venture.
“You come to feel a perception of duty to make absolutely sure to do the proper point and convey the developing back to existence,” Kevin Jankunas stated.
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