North Church, 1819

82 High Street, Eastport, Maine.

Sanctuary of North Church building with balcony.

The North Church Project Space building was originally built in 1819 for the Free Will Baptist Society, organized three years before, and known as the North Baptist Church when the then District of Maine was still part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The building employs uniquely strong construction techniques not found elsewhere in New England and its interior columns display Georgian style influences. In 1881 the building was raised upwards and a ground level vestry space added beneath. Thirty-five years later, in 1916, during the 100th anniversary of the organization of the church society, a series of stained glass memorial windows created by the Boston studio glass firm of Spence, Bell & Company were installed in the main sanctuary and balcony spaces. For photographs and descriptions of the windows, click here: stained glass windows.

Soon after 2000, the building became abandoned. In 2014, the building was gifted to TIMA by the then successor church owners to insure the building’s preservation. Many of the original church records are now in the collections of TIMA. The building is included in Eastport’s local historic district. The sanctuary space (as shown in photograph) contains a 23 foot high vaulted ceiling and remarkable acoustics (the best in the region) with a wide open ground level former vestry space below. The sanctuary space can host an audience of up to 220 people while the ground level former vestry space can host up to 50 people. TIMA is developing the building as an extension of its exhibition and artist in residence programs including performances, site-specific art installations, multi-media presentations, along with ground level studio and workshop space. See this short time lapse video showing the creation of artist, Anna Hepler’s, Undertow installation in 2016: Undertow installation.

The sanctuary space is now known as Tuckett Hall and a plaque on the entry wall of the space notes: “This repurposed space is in honor of Bob Tuckett, Sr. and Polly Mattis Tuckett whose selfless love of family and community is remembered.”

A custom made Schlicker chamber organ (not a church organ), designed for solo and ensemble Renaissance and Baroque music and obtained from Brooklyn, New York, was installed in the spring of 2018 in the rear addition of the building. See this short time lapse video showing the initial installation of the organ: organ installation. The organ was originally built in 1961 by the Schlicker organ company of Buffalo, New York for noted American sculptor, Richard Lippold, of Locust Valley, New York. The actual organ pipes were made by the Flentrop organ company of the Netherlands. More about this organ can be found through the Organ Historical Society’s pipe organ database: 1961 Schlicker Organ. For additional information about the North Church Project Space follow this link: North Church Project Space.

1961 Schlicker chamber organ installed at North Church.

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