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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 assistance with a comprehensive assessment and master
plan for the facility. The focus of our work includes exploring restoration or reconstruction alternatives for the Sanctuary
portion of the facility, including its adaptive reuse into a 400-seat performing arts center.
MILLS WHITAKER ARCHITECTS

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