Kennebec Historical Society’s April program “Homes Down East” is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, at the First Baptist Church, 47 Church St., in Gardiner.

In the presenters’ book, “Homes Down East,” each home is introduced by architectural historians Earle G. Shettleworth Jr. and Scott T. Hanson, and described in italicized commentary by architect Christopher Glass. The homes include the Walker/Bush compound in Kennebunkport, Winslow Homer and his brother Charles’s cottages on Prouts Neck, and dozens of lesser-known, but no less lovely summer homes and town houses, according to a news release from the society.

Between the Civil War and World War I, the Maine coast drew thousands of summer visitors every year to experience its natural beauty, recreational advantages and social life. By the 1880s, affluent visitors were building coastal cottages from designs by such noted architects as John Calvin Stevens of Portland, Fred Savage of Bar Harbor and Chapman & Fraser of Boston, and these cottages were so appealing that their designs were imitated in year-round homes for Maine residents, according to the release. From 1885 to 1915, the Scientific American Architects and Builders Edition and its successor magazines published floor plans, photographs and descriptions of hundreds of homes — including many in the Shingle Style — to inspire architects, builders and clients. Fifty-two of those homes were in Bar Harbor, Portland, the Casco Bay islands, Prouts Neck, Kennebunkport and elsewhere in Maine.

A native of Portland, Shettleworth attended Deering High School, Colby College and Boston University and was the recipient of honorary doctorates from Bowdoin College and the Maine College of Art. He has lectured and written extensively on Maine history and architecture, his most recent publication being “The Blaine House,” which he authored in 2014. Shettleworth has served as state historian since 2004.

Glass is an architect practicing in Camden since 1974. His practice has consisted primarily of new houses and renovations to existing ones, along with historic preservation and small commercial and church projects. He is the former architect member and chairman of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and former president of Maine Preservation, and has received awards from both organizations. Glass is the author of “At Home in Maine: Houses Designed to Fit the Land,” Down East Books 2005, and “Historic Maine Homes: 300 Years of Great Houses,” Down East Books 2009.

Hanson is an architectural historian with Sutherland Conservation & Consulting in Augusta. He has received a Statewide Historic Preservation Honor Award from Maine Preservation and a Greater Portland Landmarks Preservation Award for his work with the city of Portland’s historic preservation program. He has done many presentations on a variety of historical topics and has written two books with Shettleworth, “The Architecture of Cushing’s Island,” in 2012 and “Homes Down East, Classic Maine Coastal Cottages and Town Houses” in 2014.

For more information, call 622-7718.


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