The Maine Art Gallery received a grant from the Davis Family Foundation for restoration work on the 1807 “Old Academy Building” at 15 Warren St. in Wiscasset, which houses the nonprofit gallery.
This grant is one of many funding requests that will be made to meet the significant ongoing restoration needs of the building, which has been named to the National Register of Historic Places, according to a press release from the gallery.
Because the building is owned by the city, a vote by the City of Wiscasset to allow the enactment of a 20-year lease with the gallery, instead of the five-year lease that had been renewed for the past 67 years, s proved to be an important consideration by the Foundation. Equity funders require the building to be owned by the recipient or the recipient to have a long-term lease in place.
The current project aims to remedy water infiltration in the basement of the building, thus considerably reducing the level of humidity and dampness. This will preserve the structure and continue to provide healthy space for people and artwork within the building. Gallery administrator David Pope, chairman of the building committee, will oversee the work.
A perimeter drain to drain water from the building will be installed by Justin Leeman and Sons of Palermo, followed by masonry work to seal the foundation by Ed Sheridan, a masonry specialist from Belfast. Once all exterior work is complete, the gallery will install a commercial-grade Energy Star dehumidifier. Restoration specialist Les Fossel offers consultation services. Additional assistance is provided by the Wiscasset Public Works Department.
The Maine Art Gallery is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement and preservation of the visual, fine and applied arts through exhibitions, lectures, demonstrations and educational programs for children and adults since 1958. The gallery is scheduled to open for the season on Saturday, May 7, and holds six exhibitions through October, as well as opening lectures, classes, and receptions.
More information can be found online at maineartgallerywiscasset.org.