Page 44 - WCM 2021 Winter
P. 44

 Christine Baptista
Once the home of the Normal School, today’s Merrill Hall is a monument to the grand architectural stylings of the late 1800s.
the Holman building) was “modeled in 1923 after the Philadelphia office of Benjamin Franklin, for whom the county is named.” In more recent years, famed Camden architect Chris Glass supervised the 1980s- era restoration of many building façades, including Tranten’s, The Dugout Bar and Grill, the Cullenberg Law Offices, and the Broadway portion of the Liquid Sunshine/Mills block.
Downtown Farmington’s buildings have seen a vari- ety of uses over the years, and with that, the discovery of some hidden treasures from the past. Lifelong resi- dent and local builder, Craig Johnson, says the build- ings on the south side of Broadway were spared by the Great Fire. Many of them were old livery stables. “On one of the deeds, there was a right of way between the pizza place and the music store that required allowances for foot traffic, and for horses to get to
the stables in the rear.” When Ernie Scholl, owner of Everyday Music, moved his store to the current loca- tion, he recalled, “There was still an old hitching post out front from when the streets were still dirt.” Some of the interior walls of these buildings were plastered with layers of old playbills. However, removing them
proved to be a tremendous challenge, and unfortu- nately, many of these memorabilia did not survive the transitions over the years; those that did survive were reportedly given to the Historical Society.
The owner of Mainestone Jewelry, Ron Gelinas, tells of the old Flood Shoe store that once occupied his current location. Eventually, the Homestead Bakery moved in, but soon outgrew the space, and relocated across the street. In 2004, when Gelinas moved into the store, he began peeling back layers of sheetrock and plaster that were on the walls, exposing the origi- nal brick. He soon decided to complete the tedious process that has created the warm and elegant ambi- ance of his store as it is today.
If you were a student in the late nineteenth or early twentieth century, your text books were probably published by Knowlton, McLeary & Co. This elegant building once housed a nationally esteemed print shop that produced volumes of influential educa- tional materials, newspapers, playbills and flyers. Best known locally as the publisher of F.G. Butler’s History of Farmington, the ground floor of this gorgeous brick
Arts, Entertainment, Adventure and More in Western Maine

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