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May 2, 2018

Downtown Lewiston historic building renovation gets noticed

Courtesy / Maine Preservation
Courtesy / Maine Preservation
The renovation of 46 Lisbon St. in Lewiston is being recognized by the city. It also won a 2017 honor award from Maine Preservation.

LEWISTON — The renovation of a historic downtown building will be recognized by the city's Historic Preservation Review Board as an example of how small-scale redevelopment can help revitalize historic downtowns.

The 5,700-square-foot former Lewiston Deposit & Trust building at 46 Lisbon St., owned by Kevin Morin and Dianna Pozdniakov, was built in 1895 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. It was recognized with a 2017 honor award by Maine Preservation.

This week, the city is holding a recognition ceremony at the building. The board annually recognizes preservation efforts in the community as part of National Preservation Month.

While built as a bank, 46 Lisbon St. was home to Grant's Clothing beginning in 1926, and was last owned by Terry's Bridal Fashions.

"The project is a fine example of small-scale redevelopment, and of what can be achieved with collaboration and vision," Maine Preservation said.

Morin and Pozdniakov bought the three-story building in March 2015. The upper floors had been vacant for years, and a burst pipe had closed Terry's Bridal before the new owners bought it.

Renovations were boosted by Historic Preservation Tax Credits, and funding from Coastal Enterprises Inc. The city also provided $18,000 in facade program funding and $38,000 in Neighborhood Stabilization funding, both of which were 50% grant and 50% loan.

Maine Preservation said the building's "iconic granite and black glass fašade continued to stand as one of the more significant small commercial buildings in downtown Lewiston."

The rehabilitation has "returned to former glory."

The owners cleaned and repointed the Neoclassical granite facade, restored wood-framed windows and the art deco storefront.

The original mosaic tiles in the first-floor commercial space were restored, and Pozdniakov's shop, Sofia Fima, now occupies it.

Historic character, unmistakenly modern

Courtesy / Kevin Morin
Courtesy / Kevin Morin
One of the apartments in 46 Lisbon St., Lewiston. The chandelier is a former display case.

The upper two floors, once offices, are now apartments. Rehabilitating the upper floors was a challenge, Morin said. But he said it was also an opportunity.

"Despite being in poor condition visually, the superior building materials used a century ago were remarkably intact," he said in the news release. He said reusing the original features was the best option both financially and for longevity.

"The end result is a project that simultaneously highlights the historic character of the building and yet is unmistakably modern," he said. "Converting the interior from its previous office use to residences required certain modifications, but the apartment design prioritized maintaining the historic character."

Changes to the floor plans were minimal, doors, windows and openings were preserved, and the original wood floors were refinished.

New electrical, plumbing, heating and communications systems were installed.

Morin said the "defining character" of the project is in the attention to its small details.

Gas-powered brass wall sconces were rewired, restored and reinstalled and original glass in the windows was retained and cleaned. Doors that were removed because of floor plan changes were repurposed as sliding barn doors.

A marble vanity "that had been home to roosting pigeons," is now back in use in a half-bath.

The owners also found a wood and glass display case on the third floor, and repurposed it as a chandelier.

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