“What’s Going on at the First Amendment Museum?”

February 2021

A crew from Ganneston Construction began interior demolition work on the historic garage structure at the First Amendment Museum this month. 

The first goal for the construction crew is to prepare the 1911 structure to be lifted off its crumbling and unsound foundation later this year. Once the foundation is rebuilt and the Swiss Chalet-style building restored, it will be reset on its new foundation and become the welcome center for the new museum.  

To accomplish the move, new bracing members have been sistered to the existing roof rafters (seen above), collar ties, and wall studs to make the building more structurally sound. The floorboards in the attic space, as well as the beadboard wall and ceiling paneling, have also been removed and will be restored offsite.   

Eventually, when the building is ready to be lifted, the historic 12 over 12 windows, sliding garage doors and columns will also be removed and undergo offsite restoration. While the garage is off its foundation, the exterior will be stripped and repainted, and a new roof installed.

We are hopeful that the garage will be lifted off its foundation in the fall of 2021. The garage restoration is a great naming opportunity for a Maine family or business with connections to the auto industry. Please contact our CEO, Christian Cotz, if you are interested: connect@firstamendmentmuseum.org   

Learn more about our exciting future plans – and how you can help turn our vision into a reality!

What’s been uncovered so far

The crew has made some interesting discoveries in the garage’s nooks and crannies – some you might expect in a garage, and others that leave us scratching our heads…

Enamel renewal – which was likely used on the metal parts of Guy’s 1917 Locomobile, seen in this picture from Armistice Day 1918

Oil can still partially filled with oil, probably ~100 years old

This photo of an unknown, unnamed gentleman is dated 1937 on the back, and the notation includes the words ‘Portland Press Herald.’  Anyone recognize him?

This undated image of an unnamed six-masted schooner (likely built in Bath, Maine)

This green croquet ball – a popular lawn sport since the mid-nineteenth century

Keep tuned for more updates to our “What’s Happening at the FAM” series by signing up for our e-news list here!

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