pressing needs

Frances Perkins Center receives conservation grant for roof repairs

Mon, 05/24/2021 - 1:30pm

NEWCASTLE — The Frances Perkins Center has received a conservation grant from The 1772 Foundation in partnership with Maine Preservation for the France Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark. This $6,500 matching grant will assist with roof repairs and preservation of the Homestead, which is scheduled to open to the public in 2022.

“The news of this grant couldn’t have come at a better time for the Homestead’s preservation schedule,” said Michael Chaney, Executive Director of the Frances Perkins Center, in a news release. “With this grant, we will be able to undertake much needed repairs to the roof, and restore it to the time period of the original structure.”

This winter, the design team managing the preservation project of Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark determined that there are three areas critical to the conservation of the project’s 1837 Brick House and barn: main house floor frame, brick ell roof and dormer, and stabilization of barn foundation.

The engineering team determined a pressing need to remove the 1970s vintage flap dormer on the second floor of the brick ell of the Homestead. The improperly designed dormer has put extraordinary pressure on the brick walls of the ell structure. The removal of the dormer is consistent with the overall preservation masterplan to restore the building to its period of importance returning the roof to its original structure. 

Purchased in January 2020 by the Center, the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark is a saltwater farm on 57-acres, one of the last large unbuilt landscapes along the Damariscotta River. To date, the Center has raised more than $3.1 million toward its $5.5 million capital campaign goal to preserve the Homestead, create a place-based education center, and open it to the public.

This summer, the Center will continue to offer educational programming virtually and in-person programs will be announced when viable and safe.


About The 1772 Foundation

The 1772 Foundation was named in honor of its first restoration project, Liberty Hall in Union, New Jersey, which was built in 1772 and is the ancestral home of the Livingston and Kean families. The late Stewart B. Kean was the original benefactor of The 1772 Foundation. The 1772 Foundation works to ensure the safe passage of our historic buildings and farmland to future generations. More information about The 1772 Foundation may be found at

About Maine Preservation

Maine Preservation is the independent nonprofit member-based statewide historic preservation organization, that promotes and preserves historic places, buildings, downtowns and neighborhoods, strengthening the cultural and economic vitality of Maine communities.

About Frances Perkins

Frances Perkins (1880-1965), the first woman to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet, was Secretary of Labor (1933-1945) for the entire tenure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Perkins was the driving force behind many of the groundbreaking New Deal programs that are still the foundation of the American social safety net—Social Security, unemployment insurance, the 40-hour work week, and the minimum wage. Born in Boston, educated in the public schools of Worcester, and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, she spent summers throughout her life at her ancestral family homestead in Newcastle, Maine, now a National Historic Landmark owned by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Frances Perkins Center.

About the Frances Perkins Center

The Frances Perkins Center is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of the woman behind the New Deal by continuing Frances Perkins’ work for social justice and economic security and by preserving for future generations her nationally significant family homestead in Newcastle, Maine. The Homestead is currently undergoing a major restoration project and will open to the public in 2022.

To learn more about the Frances Perkins Center, call (207) 563-3374, email, or visit