St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center Portland, Maine

St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center

St. Lawrence Arts & Community Center
Portland, Maine

Built in 1897, this local historic landmark is a beautiful part of the urban landscape near Portland’s Eastern Promenade. The picturesque building was abandoned by its dwindling congregation in 1986 and subsequently rescued by the “Friends of the St. Lawrence.” This non-profit group, founded in 1996, began the heroic effort of transforming the deteriorated building into a blossoming community-based performing arts center. In 1997, the building was placed on the most endangered properties list of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission. By 2001, a portion of the facility was renovated into the Parish Hall Theater, a 110-seat venue for local theater groups. Since opening, the partial renovation has fostered new economic growth and development in the transitional neighborhood of Munjoy Hill.

In 2006, the St. Lawrence retained Mills Whitaker Architects for an Assessment and Master Plan for the facility. The project includes adaptive reuse of the Sanctuary into a 400-seat performing arts center. Other alterations include multi- use function rooms and full accessibility. The project is LEED registered with the Green Building Certification Institute.

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