The Tides Institute & Museum of Art (TIMA) serves as steward and curator of a dozen unique cultural properties along the rural eastern coast of Maine that borders Canada. The places are situated within the larger U.S./Canada border region on long standing traditional and continuing Passamaquoddy homelands. Nine of these places include early 19th to mid-20th century repurposed historic buildings. These buildings range from two early 19th century churches featuring construction techniques unique to the region to a creative triangle of three downtown late 19th commercial buildings next to each other designed by the same Boston trained architect to a mid-20th century seaside summer cottage built by local craftsmen for a couple (a writer and a dancer) living in New York City. All of these dozen places, along with TIMA’s related programs and activities and extensive cultural collections, combine to contribute to an essential character and vitality of a distinctive region. They include (click on the link on each photograph for more information about each building and place):
Nine of the dozen places, including six with historic buildings, were donated to TIMA by organizations and individuals so that they might be preserved. The three other places with historic buildings are all part of the 30 building downtown Eastport, Muselenk (Moose Island), Maine National Register Historic District established in 1982 and were purchased by TIMA to prevent their certain destruction. No one else was willing to take them on. Most of the places are located within a few blocks of each other in Eastport, Muselenk (Moose Island), Maine overlooking the deep marine rich waters of Passamaquoddy Bay and the U.S/Canada international boundary. An hour and a half westward, a seaside artist’s summer cottage hugs the shores of the Cape Split peninsula in South Addison, Maine and Pleasant Bay in western Washington County. See the Eastport, Muselenk (Moose Island), Maine Campus to view the close proximity of many of the places in Eastport. These dozen places, with nine containing buildings dating from 1819 to 1942, preserve and embody the region’s cultural, architectural, historic and natural heritage while repurposing them with 21st century activities and resources. They provide an important past and present day setting for TIMA’s extensive and wide ranging cultural collections (they are a part of these collections) and programs. They reflect the region and connect it to the wider world.
Four of TIMA’s buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places (including three that were designed by the same architect, Henry N. Black, and built at the same time, 1887), six (including the four on the National Register) are part of Eastport’s local historic district, and two other TIMA buildings are located nearby in an adjacent historic residential area.
In addition, TIMA owns and is the steward of the shore/landing site at the north end of Eastport’s waterfront for the seasonal Deer Island (New Brunswick, Canada) to Eastport (Maine, USA) ferry service when it is in operation. In an effort to preserve the ferry service, the property was gifted to TIMA in 2007 by John Pike Grady (1925-2008) whose family had owned the property for more than a century.