The Center Theatre is leading a project to create a National Commercial Historic District in Downtown Dover-Foxcroft. The map above shows the proposed outline of the district as suggested by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. The District could include up to 14 buildings reaching from In the Woods (formerly the Mr. Papreback store) to the Observer Building, which itself is already listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places. We hope to extend the district in the future to the West to include the Chandler Building and around the corner to Bob's Farm, Home, and Garden.
The benefits of creating a historic district include:
• No restrictions for property owners. Property owners could paint their building hot pink or even tear it down, and the National Register would have no input.
• Historic Tax Benefits (between 20% and 45%) could be available for rehabilitation of historic buildings in the district
• A Historic District will promote the community and encourage visitors.
• Projects in a historic district can be eligible for specific grants and funding.
• If there are federal dollars or federal permits involved in a project in the district there is paperwork and a review by the State Historic Preservation Office. However, it is only a consultation. They can offer suggestions, but have no ability to change or impede the project.
The Theatre is undertaking the project because as a building within a Historic District, we will qualify for grants and funding not available to us otherwise. Our first anticipated project using this funding will be to improve the columns and exterior of the building facing the river.
Thanks to a grant from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, the Theatre is working with Scott Hanson of MacRostie Historic Advisors. Mr. Hanson is consulting on the project and will help with the application process. Mr. Hanson knows something about the historic qualities of Dover-Foxcroft from his previous work on the Moosehead/Mayo Mill project.
On Friday, July 23rd the district was approved by the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. It now goes to the National Department of the Interior for approval. This approval should happen by the end of September, we'll keep you posted.
Further Resources and Information
FAQ page about the National Register on the National Park Service Website
Maine Historic Preservation: Results of listing a property on the National Register
A video by the National Trust addressing issues that are likely to be of concern to property owners.
If you have questions or want further information, contact Patrick Myers at the Center Theatre: email@example.com, (207)564-8943