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Tourism Cares provides grant for building preservation

December 16, 2011

The 104-year-old Paint and Treenail Building located on the Percy & Small Shipyard site of Maine Maritime Museum will now
receive some much needed preservation work thanks to a grant from Tourism Cares matched by a gift from the
Charles R. Niehaus Fund.

The Museum is one of only six organizations worldwide selected to receive a grant for 2011 from Tourism Cares, a U.S. based nonprofit organization whose mission is to preserve the travel experience for future generations.

The building, constructed in 1897, is the oldest of five original buildings of the 10-acre Percy & Small shipyard that are still intact and which constitute the only U.S. shipyard of large sailing ships still in existence.  The shipyard site is on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the first two sites in New England to be named a Preserve America Steward site.

More than 45,000 people visit the museum each year, of which about 30,000 are from out of state or from another country. The Percy & Small Shipyard is the centerpiece of a visitor’s experience and the Paint and Treenail shop is a feature of the introductory tour of the shipyard conducted by volunteer docents from May to October.

Currently, because of safety concerns visitors are restricted to the main floor of the 2.5 story, 30-foot by 40-foot building.  There they see some of the original tools used by craftsmen to make the treenails (like a wooden “nail”) for the giant schooners built there, hear the sounds that would have been typical in the building when it was being used for its original purpose, and learn about a shipyard fire that almost destroyed the building.

The Paint and Treenail shop was designed and built with its 2nd and 3rd floors suspended from the building’s roof joists instead of resting on columns from the floor beneath. While this unusual design feature benefited the building’s purpose when constructed, it has become a concern as the foundation piers upon which the building rests have shifted over the years.

The grant from Tourism Cares will be used to support the restoration work of the building to include correcting shifting foundation piers and wall-roof separation, window sill repair, and exterior painting.

Tourism Cares, an innovative nonprofit organization, works to preserve the travel experience for future generations - by awarding grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites throughout the world; by hosting unique volunteer restoration projects designed specifically for travel professionals; by drawing corporate leaders and individuals together to share in the conservation and preservation of treasured cultural and historic sites; and by granting academic and professional development scholarships to tourism and hospitality students and professions.

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About Tourism Cares 

Tourism Cares is an innovative nonprofit organization formed in 2005 through a consolidation of the National Tourism Foundation and the Travelers Conservation Foundation. The organization works to preserve the travel experience for future generations through a three-pronged approach. We award grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites throughout the world. In addition, they host unique volunteer restoration projects designed specifically for travel professionals. Recognized as the most innovative “give-back” program in the industry, Tourism Cares volunteer project and Volunteer Day draw thousands of corporate leaders and individuals together to share in the conservation and preservation of treasured cultural and historic sites. They also help assure a knowledgeable tourism workforce by granting academic and professional development scholarships to tourism and hospitality students and professions. For more information about Tourism Cares, please visit www.TourismCares.org.

Phone: (207) 443-1316
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Maine Maritime Museum

243 Washington Street
Bath, Maine 04530