HARRISON, Maine — The former Caswell Library, a historic building whose Romanesque Revival architecture stands out in this southwestern Maine resort town of 2,500 people, is for sale, the second historic building here to go on the block in the past few months.
Now empty, the stone building had been home to Maine Scale, a calibration business that moved to another city, and the Caswell Conservancy Center, which held yoga and other classes.
Owners Averill and Christine Davis of Harrison are selling it by themselves for $270,000.
“The current renters moved out and I just decided I’ve had enough with renters,” said Averill Davis, who also co-owns A.C. Construction in Harrison.
The former Caswell Library is the second historic building in Harrison to go on the block in the past few months. The other is the Olde Mill Tavern, which was listed for sale in September.
Davis, who said he put a lot of money into rehabbing the almost 100-year-old building to rent to businesses, bought it in 2005 for what he said was a “reasonable price.”
The former library was built in 1908, after the Calvin Baptist Church that had been there burned the previous year. Harrison native Daniel Caswell donated money to construct the library, which was modeled after his home in Texas. One distinctive architectural feature is the round turret with a conical roof projecting from the southwestern corner of the building.
When the library outgrew the space, it moved to a new building nearby in 2004. The Caswell building went up for sale the next year, when it also was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The former library is in the center of Harrison, next to The Block, a grouping of buildings including a ballroom, small market and the Olde Mill Tavern.
“I think it’s part of the changing character of the town,” Martha Denison, treasurer of the Harrison Historical Society, said of the historic buildings’ sales.
Denison said a lot of people moved to the town earlier in the pandemic and realized they could stay and work from home. Harrison, in Cumberland County, is about an hour’s drive northwest of Portland and west of Lewiston. New buildings also are in progress, she said.
“But it would be nice if whoever buys it maintains the local character,” she said.