Courtesy of Nick Navarre

ELLSWORTH – The Grand receives a generous grant for a much-needed HVAC system upgrade from The Belvedere Fund through the Maine Community Foundation.

The Grand’s “A Musical Christmas Carol” finale is the song “A Breath of Fresh Air” and that is a perfect title for The Grand’s current HVAC upgrade campaign. It is also perfect that the Belvedere Fund launches the campaign with a generous $20,000 grant to upgrade air handling in the historic venue that has been a downtown icon for over 83 years.

“The HVAC Upgrade would not only maximize energy efficiency and dramatically improve airflow, it would add never before experienced AC and give The Grand an opportunity to offer great programming all through the busy but hot summer months,” said Grand Executive Director Nick Turner.

The late Deborah Pulliam of Castine established her fund at the Maine Community Foundation and named it “Belvedere,” an architectural term that reflected her appreciation for historic buildings. Since 2008, the fund has awarded more than $3 million to museums, libraries, churches and other historic structures like The Grand across the state. The fund expanded in 2018 to help nonprofits implement energy efficiency measures in their historic buildings through energy audits and energy efficiency upgrades.

Over the years, The Grand has received support for an energy audit, brick façade work, a new roof and more.

Turner noted, “I don’t believe there would be a Grand without the support of the Belvedere Fund and the Maine Community Foundation. A huge thank you to both. This project will significantly improve the patron experience and also help to preserve the building for even more generations.”