Information from the Library at The University of Maine, Orono
A few weeks ago, I arranged with the Library at The University of Maine in Orono to view their collection of Leander Higgins papers. He was the architect of our current church, parish hall and bell tower. After he died, his son Ambrose continued the work of their firm. In 1974 all of their correspondence and plans that they had were given to the University. One must identify on the Library’s website the files one wants to see, let the librarian know, she will retrieve them from offsite storage and email one when the files are ready for viewing.
I read through about 15 years of correspondence and looked at some of the plans. The church has some of the same plans in our archives. The last pieces of correspondence are in the attached PDF. They are the last because the church decided to not to follow the architects recommendations and that was the end of the relationship. When you read these letters you will see that in 1945, about ten years after the tower was built, the tower was in dire need of major rebuilding and repairs. You will see that the church didn’t want to pay to do the proper thing. The cost to build the tower was about 25K in the mid 1930 s, the estimated cost to repair it 10 years later was about the same.
So, the tower has always been a problem, it has never been addressed properly, we have found minutes from vestry meetings in following years that show that the church has always chosen the “patch it up” method of dealing with the problems.
The vestry has chosen to not continue that method, but rather to have plans drawn that eliminate the tower and the temptation to repair it poorly.
Edmund Hartt, Jr. Warden