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 is to 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 center, according to a news release from the center. “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 the landmark determined that there are three areas critical to the conservation of the project’s 1837 Brick House and barn: the 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 landmark is a saltwater farm on 57 acres, one of the last large unbuilt landscapes along the Damariscotta River. 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.

To learn more about the center, contact Chaney by email at [email protected], call 207-563-3374, or visit francesperkinscenter.org.