The Winthrop Maine Historical Society purchased the old Key Bank location at 107 Main St. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal dossier Buy this photo

WINthrop – The Winthrop Historical Society bought their first headquarters in 60 years of history and are now taking the next fundraising step to start renovating it.

Society President Lynda Pratt said fundraising was still underway for the building renovations. The company paid $ 100,000 for the building.

In January, the Kennebec Journal reported on the company fundraising for the purchase of the building, which will be nicknamed “Winthrop History and Heritage Center”.

The building at 107 Main Street was owned by Key Bank of Maine. According to the city’s property tax records, the building was constructed in 1950, measures 2,596 square feet and sits on a quarter-acre lot.

A previous estimate of the renovation costs was around $ 25,000, but Pratt said Wednesday the actual cost could exceed $ 50,000.

“There are quite a few renovations to be done between the plumbing and the electricity,” she said, adding that some asbestos had to be removed. “We need to install a disabled bathroom, on the one hand, then there is electrical wiring that needs to be redone.”

Pratt said the company received more than $ 100,000 in pledges, but took out a loan from Kennebec Savings Bank to get the money to buy the building. As the pledges come in, she said, the company will repay the loan.

The historical society, formed in the 1960s but reformed about 10 years ago after a hiatus, has never had a dedicated foyer, usually holding its town hall meetings. About 40 years ago, another building on Main Street was intended to be the company’s home, but it was demolished by its owner.

In January, Pratt said the company had old documents, photographs and other items that should be in “controlled environments.”

Lynda Pratt, president of the Winthrop Maine Historical Society, discusses one of two vaults full of safes during a Jan.6 tour of the old Key Bank location at 107 Main Street. Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal dossier Buy this photo

“(The building) has enormous space that will help us store and catalog these artifacts,” she said.

The location would also allow public access for lectures or guest speakers. Pratt said a gift shop could be set up in the building, offering prints of historical images and other small items.

The historical society aims to preserve the history of Winthrop. The city was incorporated in April 1771, five years before the United States became a nation and 49 years before Maine became a state. The group hopes to host a grand opening at its headquarters this year, the 250th anniversary of the incorporation of Winthrop.


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