To the Editor;

Home is the place where memory and mortar meet. Where our personal history is written and, in Maine’s old buildings, where history is made personal.

How lucky are we to be surrounded by so many places we can reach out our hands and literally touch the past, feel the passion and toil of the artisans and craftsmen who forged strength with beauty, edifices to endure and details to delight.

It is by no accident we find ourselves so fortunate, it is by intention. Mainers preserve traditions, because it is our tradition to preserve. If something can be saved, we save it. With every last drop of Yankee ingenuity, born of short summers and long winters. It is how we look ahead. We don’t tear down everything which came before, we build upon it. Preserving it by making it useful today.

Landmarks are how we orient ourselves so we don’t get lost. The copper cupola and Celtic cross of the Motherhouse in Portland is certainly one of those. Because of the Maine Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit (MHRTC), it is not an empty beauty. In it now is not just the history of the Sisters of Mercy but the most valuable history we have, the living memories and experiences of the seniors who live there.

There are many landmarks across the state who have been brought to vibrant life by the MHRTC. There are many more landmarks waiting to be brought to life, as affordable housing or whatever the community needs. Without the MHRTC they are likely to remain empty or disappear completely — through wrecking ball, slow decay or thoughtless profiteering. On Tuesday, there is the opportunity to sing the praise of the MHRTC to the Legislature’s IDEA Committee in the form of LD 201, I encourage you to add your voice to the chorus.

Orion Breen


Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.