A concept drawing of a new two-story building at 134 Main St. in Bar Harbor. The Acadia Corporation is set to demolish the existing building there but keep the historic façade. IMAGE COURTESY OF TOWN OF BAR HARBOR

Main Street store to keep same look

BAR HARBOR — The Design Review Board granted a demolition permit last week to the Acadia Corporation for a building at 134 Main St., provided they preserve the existing historic façade.

The company, which has operated a retail business in the building for three years, plans to build a new two-story building on the Main Street lot and the lot behind it. The board has not yet granted a final certificate of appropriateness for the new building design, but the project has been discussed at several meetings.

“The board is happy with the way this has gone,” board Chairman Barbara Sassaman said when they approved the demolition permit last week.

The building was designed by Edgar Allen Poe Newcomb around 1880, Sassaman said at a previous meeting. It housed the florist shop of Frederick H. Moses and was known at the time as the Pine and Palm building, she said.

Todd Hardy of Eden Builders, architect for the planned new building, presented an analysis of the building façade. It used to have a unique curved glass bay window, which he said was damaged and removed eight years ago. In the more recent past, the south (right-hand) half of the building held Willey’s clothing store and had a covered porch, which was enclosed during a 1993 renovation project.

The north half of the building is partially built on a rubble foundation that is in poor condition, Hardy wrote in a memo to the board. “The existing building appears to be a joining of two buildings. As a result, the existing structure from top-to-bottom and side-to-side is discontinuous … . Because of the age of the building, its condition/lifespan, and the construction materials and methods employed, the existing foundations would not be capable of supporting a second floor according to current building code standards.”

“We bought the building behind the Main Street store, which used to belong to the Higgins family and is accessed from Albert Meadow,” Acadia Corp. president Dave Woodside told the Islander. “The Witham group had owned it and housed seasonal employees there. This project will encompass both lots.”

The new building will be used only seasonally, he said. The retail space on the first floor will be more than double the size of the current store. The second floor will be used for employee housing.



Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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