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In 2005, a group of Machiasport year-round and seasonal residents established the Committee to Save Liberty Hall. Following extensive discussion, the Committee engaged John Turk of ttl-Architects in Portland, a firm specializing in historic preservation, to conduct a full Building Conditions Assessment. The objective was to define the work required to save the building and to draw up a schedule of priorities necessary for its restoration.

In 2006, a multiphase plan for the restoration of Liberty Hall was launched. Phase One was successfully completed in 2007; Phase Two in 2009; and Phase Three is currently being completed (2021-22).

Preserving the building's historical integrity has been the highest priority. All restoration work has been carefully carried out in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties

Phase one of restoration removing the belvedere

Phase 01

Phase one


The 2006 Building Assessment Report prepared by ttl-architects in conjunction with Al Hodson of Resurgence Engineering identified a number of problems that required immediate intervention. In particular, extensive water damage had created both internal and external decay that without swift action would render Liberty Hall beyond the point of repair.

Phase One of the restoration plan was devised to address the urgent repairs needed to stabilize and protect the building.

Fragile and perilous belvedere brought to ground level for restoration
New roof, new chimney and flashing added to building
Sitework (re-grading of rear and sides of building)
Drip edge installed, new drainage system
Gutters removed, new historically correct eaves and cornice installed
Foundation damage corrected and foundation secured
Bio-hazard treatment (raccoons and raccoon deposits eliminated)

Phase 02


Phase Two, conducted by Consigli Construction of Portland, ME., completed the exterior restoration of Liberty Hall. It included:

  • Restoration of belvedere tower and return to top of building

  • Reconstruction of historic mansard roof on top of belvedere

  • Reinstallation original weathervane

  • Repair of belvedere base on roof

  • Repair and replacement of two-storey windows

  • Repair and restoration of decorative exterior trim

  • Repair and replacement of clapboards

  • Painting of building

The new belvedere tower and mansard have been named the Knowlton Belvedere, in recognition of Warren D. and Judy Knowlton's gift honoring their parents and grandparents.

the newly painted belvedere being installed- the belvedere flies!
The Belvedere Files
phase two
phase three
building in need of restoration
more restoration

Phase 03


Phase Three, restoration of the rear façade, is currently being completed. Tasks include:

  • Removal and restoration of existing rear windows and replication of fourth window to replace existing door opening, completed, 2019

  • Structural repairs at base of façade and demolition of outhouse, completed 2021

  • Replacement of rotting clapboards and restoration of decorative trim, completed 2021

  • Priming and painting of back wall, completed 2021

  • Demolition of interior chimney, funds being sought

  • Creation of exit door in rear façade and bridge to provide emergency egress from theater level to bank at the back of the building, funds being sought

phase four

Phase 04


The Campaign to Save Liberty Hall is now working closely with the project architect, John Turk, to draw up plans for the interior restoration of the building. 

The work of Phase Four will be divided into two stages:

  • Renovation of the ground floor to make the space functional and accessible for meetings, community events and for cultural, artistic and educational purposes.                                                                    

  • Restoration of the upper floor, including the 250-seat theater and backstage areas

A prestigious grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation has enabled the architect to draft a site plan and design for a septic system.  He is also providing provisional sketches of the building interior that include the proposed location of an elevator, community kitchen, ADA bathroom, meeting rooms and library.    


In preparing the architectural design for Phase Four, John Turk will collaborate with the staff of Earle Shettleworth in the office of Maine Historic Preservation Commission to ensure that the original features of Andrew Gilson’s building are properly preserved.  This will involve the restoration wherever possible of the original decorative plaster and woodwork.  Where repair is not possible, replica details will be manufactured and integrated into the building.   


The major tasks comprising the work of Phase Four include:  

  • Installation of well and septic system

  • Installation of storm windows

  • Demolition and preparation of interior for installation of heating, electrical, plumbing and fire protection systems

  • Installation of elevator and handicap ramps

  • Restoration of interior plaster and woodwork

  • Installation of community kitchen and ADA bathroom

  • Restoration of entry hall double staircase

  • Re-creation and installation of front doors and steps

South Staircase
Great room
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