Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission

Commission considers ‘Main Street’ program

Reads National Trust letter
Posted:  Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 7:30am

On Feb. 1, the Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission heard about the possibility of becoming a Main Street community. The program aims to help communities by focusing downtown and helping stakeholders – businesses, residents, schools, economic development organizations, and more – make the downtown the centerpiece of the community. 

Ten communities have the Main Street Maine designation: Augusta, Bath, Belfast, Biddeford, Brunswick, Gardiner, Rockland, Saco, Skowhegan and Waterville.

Because the program was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, commissioners felt the commission was a good fit to help the program move forward. Shopkeepers had been invited to the meeting to discuss the prospect, according to Chair John Reinhardt. There were few attendees. Reinhardt said he hopes to hold another meeting on the topic in the spring. Meanwhile, commission member Wendy Donovan will continue to gather information about the program to see if it is a good fit for Wiscasset’s downtown.

In a Jan. 29 letter to selectmen, the  National Trust weighed in on Wiscasset’s ongoing suit against the Maine Department of Transportation. At the commission’s Feb. 1 meeting, commissioner Albert Kontrath read the letter into the record. It encouraged Wiscasset to continue litigation: “Although litigation is costly in the short run, and we do not know the actual terms of the Consent Agreement, we are critically concerned that the long-term implications of abandoning the lawsuit now might undermine historic preservation in Wiscasset, a vibrant community that has chosen to protect its historic assets that contribute to Wiscasset’s community in myriad ways,” Kontrath read.

At least one, possibly two, applications for certificates of appropriateness will be on the commission’s agenda for the 5 p.m. Feb. 15 meeting. Stephen and Joan Barnatt, new owners of 20 Fort Hill Street, have a request involving roofing, exterior trim, and siding.