Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Farmer's Union Shed

I received an email about the history of the Slum and Blight building from Belfast Historian, Megan Pinette.  In the email she writes "I believe it [the building]  was built following the 1865 fire and escaped the 1873 fire. On the Sanborn insurance maps in the late 1880s & 1901, the building stands alone, no addition to the right or left. Around 1900 it was the Ocean House Hotel run by Frank Nash, who also lived in the building. I don't think he ran it for very long, does not appear in the 1907 census."

Megan also told me that she believes it to be one of the most unchanged buildings in the downtown area.   No pressure there!!!!

This would have been a small hotel, but in 1900, who was coming to Belfast to stay??

Though just speculation, I think the shed was added around 1914, when the Farmer's Union was first organized.  It is still used as a shed, but I can see a restaurant or some more downtown retail spaces there.  The shed looks huge from this view, but really isn't.  There used to be a Mobil station right where the grassy area is in this photo.  The land is for sale, but I think it makes a nice park and gives us great access to Main Street, which is where I am standing.  

We would like to replace the existing roofs on both buildings with a green metal one to make the buildings flow together better, but we have to decide if there will be rentable space on the second floor of the shed and if so, if we will cut dormers into the roof line.  I favor dormers that match the somewhat Greek Revival lines of the pitched roof on the main building.

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