Masonic Building Project

Interior of Masonic Building second floor that will be transformed into exhibition space. 

TIMA’s vision for the Masonic Building is to allow TIMA to tell and preserve the story of the cultural legacy of this region for the first time through its remarkable collections with expanded and more appropriate exhibition and collection spaces along with a local foods cafe. The redeveloped Masonic Building will include: 1) a museum entrance, lobby and climate controlled exhibition cabinet displays on the ground floor along with an area local foods restaurant/cafe, 2) an expanded climate controlled exhibition space on the second floor to better share TIMA’s wide ranging and diverse collections that reflect the area’s rich cultural legacy and works from elsewhere in the world, and 3) an expanded climate controlled collection storage space in the rear attached warehouse of the building to house TIMA’s irreplaceable collections.

TIMA’s collections represent the largest and most significant cultural collections along the eastern coast of Maine. From historical to contemporary, from the 18th century to today, the collections have a particular focus on art, broadly conceived, but also have very strong interests with history and and also architecture. The collections focus on the U.S./Canada northeast coast, including Wabanaki, with connections to the broader world. The collections include paintings, prints, photographs, and sculpture; Passamaquoddy and Mi’Kmaq basketry and other art and craft; architectural drawings, documentation and artifacts; ship models; maps; decorative arts (furniture, clocks, silver, glass, textiles); musical instruments; oral history recordings and graphic arts. The collections also include a related specialized reference and research library of books, pamphlets, manuscripts and ephemera. More about these collections can be found here: Tides Collections

Plans for the redevelopment of the Masonic Building have been prepared by Machado-Silvetti architects of Boston, Massachusetts. Other museum projects that Machado-Silvetti have been involved in across the U.S. include new architecture for the the J.Paul Getty Villa Museum in California, the Asian Art Study Center addition to the Ringling Museum of Art in Florida and the redevelopment of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art in Maine. 

Machado-Silvetti First Floor and Rear Walk Through

Machado-Silvetti Second Floor Gallery Walk Through

Currently, redevelopment efforts of the Masonic Building are focused on completing the stablization of the building through the rebuilding and restoration of the upper front second and third floor damaged brick masonry wall and installing a missing replica copper cornice on the front of the building between the first and second floors. Work on this final $500,000 stabilization piece began in November 2021 and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2023. 

A recent major Challenge Grant award of $400,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) will help with additional redevelopment steps for the Masonic Building over the next several years. The award was one of only 16 such Challenge Grants made to institutions across the U.S. by NEH in its recent funding cycle. It is the first and only such NEH Challenge Grant award ever made to a Washington County, Maine institution. The additional redevelopment steps for the Masonic Building include a required fire suppressant sprinkler system, new kitchen, new heating system, new elevator, new windows and new climate controlled exhibition and collection spaces. TIMA is required to match the recent NEH grant award with $1.2 million in private funds. The full completion of the redevelopment of the Masonic Building will require additional funding as well. A news release about the NEH Challenge Grant award can be found here: Challenge Grant.

Follow this link to view the floor plans for the Masonic Building’s redevelopment as prepared by Machado-Silvetti architects of Boston: Floor Plans

Follow this link for the history and rescue of the Masonic Building: History & Rescue

For more information about the Masonic Building Project and if you would like to contribute to the Project, please contact TIMA. Use this link if you would like to contribute online: TIMA Donation Page

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