The building was built in 1911 by publishing magnate William H. Gannett as a wedding gift to his son, Guy P. Gannett, who founded the Guy Gannett Publishing Company. The family’s company grew to include various newspapers, radio, and television stations throughout Maine. Guy P. Gannett was a celebrated publisher and defender of free speech.
Located just steps from the State Capitol building and the Blaine House, home to Maine’s Governor, the Guy P. Gannett House was used as a State Planning Office until Gannett’s granddaughters, Genie Gannett and Terry Gannett Hopkins, purchased the home with the intent to open the First Amendment Museum.
Since being purchased, the focus over the last few years has been the restoration of the exterior of the home and the designing of its future interiors.
With the guidance of the museum’s board of directors and CEO, plus assistance from a team which includes architects, historic preservationists, museum consultants, and exhibition designers, the next steps for the First Amendment Museum will be to finish the restoration of the historic structures, build a modern 5,000 sq. ft. addition, develop transformative online and on-site programming, and install a world-class exhibition interpreting the First Amendment.