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A grant of $1,000,000 from the Next Generation Foundation of Maine has been awarded to the Town of Corinna to begin the renovation and preservation of the Stewart Library Building. Also, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission awarded the town grants totaling $15,000 for the planning needed to repair the clock tower and steeple of the building.
With overall renovation needs estimated at over 2.5 million dollars, these grants will enable the town to begin the process of renovating and preserving this unique, historic treasure located in a rural town in central Maine. The Building Preservation Group, a committee of residents appointed by the Town, worked with the Town Manager and the Board of Selectmen to apply for and win approval of the grants.
A trustee from the Next Generation Foundation of Maine said, “The Next Generation Foundation trustees viewed several wonderful old buildings being restored for modern use during our site visits around Maine, and the Stewart Library Building stood out as one of the more magnificent. It sits commandingly on a hill overlooking what used to be the bustling town of Corinna. The Stewart Library Building along with the spectacular Levi Stewart library collection it contains is one of Maine's hidden gems, and we are pleased to serve as lead funder.”
The Stewart Library Building was built in 1898 by Levi M. Stewart, a noted philanthropist and childhood resident of Corinna. The building, which houses the town's public library, the town office, the Stewart Private Library, and includes a second floor auditorium and stage, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. In constant use for more than a century, the elegant brick and granite structure remains much as it was when completed.