The Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce has unveiled its plans to restore and upgrade the facility at the Information Bureau located at Main and Vine streets in Damariscotta. Phelps Architects, of Damariscotta, has designed the structure to keep with the original architecture of the existing building and the historic downtown area.
The Damariscotta Information Bureau at its present location opened on or about June 20, 1935. Within a couple of years, it won awards as a leading information center in the state. In 1938, with 4,108 signatures, and 10,983 visitors, it was the third most visited center in the state.
The new building will restore Damariscotta region history by bringing this building back to life. It will serve as a hub for our region’s tourism, the community, businesses and employment success. The plans include a history wall to showcase centuries worth of rich stories about this region and the people who have lived here.
A conference/education room will be a center for members of the community to take online courses and to find work opportunities, as well internships for young people to keep them a part of the thriving community.
And finally, this will be a one-stop location providing visitors a way to quickly find everything they need at the touch of a finger for eating, staying and playing in our beautiful region.
“The fundraising team is coming out of the silent phase and entering the community phase with a theme of ‘Restoring History: Building the Future,’” said John Roberts, president of the Damariscotta Region Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors. “This is the most exciting project for the chamber and Information Bureau in recent history. It will be great to bring the building and grounds back to their former glory and act as a destination for visitors and locals alike.”
As more than half of the estimated projected project cost of $400,000 has been raised from private donors and local businesses, now is the time to ask the community to help us fundraise by buying an engraved brick for the pathway. Each engraved brick is $250 and will become part of the outdoor area and pathway into the building.
The first Friday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m., a table will be set up outside of Sherman’s Maine Coast Book Shop where visitors and members of the community can see the renderings, make a donation or purchase an engraved brick for the walkway. A large thermometer is at the building site for the community to see and witness the progress as we enter this new phase.
A capital campaign mailer has been sent out to different residences in the chamber’s 10-town service area. Community members are asked to review the material and consider making a one-time donation to the project.
The site work is scheduled to commence in October with completion in June 2023.
To learn more about the chamber’s capital campaign, go to damariscottaregion.com, call 563-8340, or stop by the chamber’s temporary home located at 277 Main St. in the Cheney Insurance building to pick up a pledge form.