Save This Old House: A Maine Greek Revival
Get your hands on one of two Greek Revivals that a doting father constructed with his sawmill fortune in Calais, Maine
Published April 2012
Location: Calais, Maine
Contact: Samra Kuseybi, 207-853-2626, ext. 16
The history: A.H. Sawyer must have been a very doting father. How else to explain why he built each of his two daughters her very own Greek Revival manse back in 1840? True, the man had some money. He owned several sawmills on the St. Croix River, which separates the town of Calais, population 4,000, from Canada. In later years, the house belonged to the equally prominent Herbert John Dudley, a former mayor of Calais, then to Dr. Walter Miner, who founded the local hospital, which still serves the community.
Shown: The house is just under 4,000 square feet. Outside, its five Ionic-style columns need to be stabilized and the porch will have to be rebuilt.
Why save it? The 14-room, 3½-bathroom house retains its original staircase, lots of maple floors and woodwork, and a carriage house. It is located in a national historic district, as is the house Sawyer built next door for his other daughter, which is now a restored bed-and-breakfast.
What it needs: The boiler is relatively new, and the roof is in good shape. The big job here is stabilizing part of the foundation, plus restoring the exterior and the carriage house. The current owner renovated the two apartments upstairs, but the house can easily be turned back into a single-family. Either way, you'll have an heirloom that can be proudly handed down to family of your own.
Shown: A kitchen in one of the two upstairs apartments.
A downstairs parlor (one of two) retains its original floor-to-ceiling windows and a black marble mantelpiece. The floors and moldings were likely milled by the original owner's lumber company.
This fully renovated bedroom is located in a second-floor apartment.
The original staircase has eastern-white-pine treads and walnut balustrades. The landing was walled off to create one of the two upstairs apartments.
The two light-filled upstairs apartments can easily be converted back to the original layout.