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Arts and Culture

Among Maine's Most Endangered Historic Places: An Entire Downtown

YARMOUTH, Maine - An historic Midcoast mansion, a town post office, city clock towers, and an entire Maine downtown: Those are among the eight items Maine Preservation has included in its 17th annual list of Maine's Most Endangered Historic Places.

Maine Preservation Executive Director Greg Paxton says these places face a variety of threats and, often, demolition. But he says there are also broader themes, such as what the future holds for entire downtown areas.

Paxton says Maine Preservation has put downtown Gardiner on its list, but he says it's one of a series downtowns that are facing a new threat.

"That threat is from flood insurance," Paxton says. "Congress changed the law in 2012, and, at this point, insurance rates are increasing precipitously around the state. And so we're concerned about many of the downtown areas which are located right along rivers."

Paxton says preservation is a key catalyst for community revitalization, economic development and continued quality of life.