Maine Historical Society



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Groundbreaking Ceremony to be Held as Centennial Library Renovations Begin

November 27, 2007

Portland, ME - Maine Historical Society will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, December 4, 2007, at 10:00 am as construction begins on its Research Library. The Library, located behind the Longfellow House at 485 Congress Street, was opened 100 years ago and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The project will create a state-of-the-art facility for the preservation of Maine's historical records. "MHS is a remarkable and growing institution. This project launches a transformative ten-year master plan to better serve the state and the city of Portland," noted Deborah Reed, Capital Campaign Chair.

The renovation of the original 1907 building and 13,000 s.f. expansion will effect structural repairs, address collections care and storage issues, upgrade technology, and improve access and amenities for patrons. Nichols Hall, a collections storage wing built in the 1950s, will be replaced by a larger, environmentally controlled addition. Construction on the $9 million project is underway and will take up to sixteen months. The renovated and expanded Library is expected to re-open in the spring of 2009.

Richard D'Abate, Executive Director of the Maine Historical Society, noted, "This is a tremendously exciting and absolutely necessary project that will make a difference to the entire state of Maine. It will ensure better care of our collections and better support for all our school programs and statewide Internet services."

D'Abate, Reed, and Philip H. Jordan, Jr., President of MHS Board of Trustees will make brief remarks. In case of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the MHS Lecture Hall at 489 Congress St., Portland. While the Library building is under renovation, its contents were moved and its patrons are being served at an alternate location, 510 Congress Street, less than a block away from the Maine Historical Society. The Longfellow House, MHS Museum, Museum Shop, and administrative offices will remain unaffected by the Library move. The Research Library contains one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of materials related to Maine history in the state, and is used regularly by researchers, historians, genealogists, teachers, students, lawyers, architects, and many others from across Maine and the country. Architects for the Library project are Schwartz/Silver Architects of Boston, noted for their renovations of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, the Lewiston Public Library, and the Boston Athenaeum. Consigli Construction Company of Portland and Massachusetts will provide construction management; their recent work includes Walker Art Museum at Bowdoin College, and projects at Portland's City Hall and the Victoria Mansion. Financial services have been provided by TD Banknorth. The Maine Historical Society preserves the heritage and history of Maine: the stories of Maine people, the traditions of Maine communities, and the record of Maine's place in a changing world. MHS consists of the Research Library, the MHS Museum, the Longfellow House, and the Maine Memory Network (

Groundbreaking Ceremony to be Held as Centennial Library Renovations Begin at Maine Historical Society Tuesday, December 4, 2007 10:00 am Maine Historical Society 489 Congress Street Portland, ME 04101

See architectural renderings.

For more information:

Maine Historical Society
489 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101

Maine Historical Society preserves and shares Maine's story to enrich life in contemporary Maine.