Supporters of Maine Preservation, the only statewide historic preservation nonprofit, gathered Sept. 7 for fundraising gala This Place Matters at Portland Masonic on Congress Street. Patrons and corporate sponsors arrived early for behind-the-scene tours of the Masonic temple built in 1911, which were followed by a 300-person gala with live and silent auctions.

“Maine Preservation is not just protecting buildings but helping developers keep the integrity of those buildings while making them places that will be used,” said trustee Scout Haffenreffer, who studied architecture and history of interiors at Bates College and Sotheby’s and works in interior design. “It’s a great way to bring the economy back into smaller towns.”

Board president Tobey Scott said, “We’re an economic powerhouse, providing insight and support, helping people all over Maine find solutions for their historic properties.”

“We’re really engaged throughout the state,” said executive director Greg Paxton, explaining that the 1,000-member nonprofit has advised on 130 projects over the past year.

At its eighth annual gala, Maine Preservation honored past president Patricia McGraw Anderson by inaugurating the Patricia Anderson Summer Fellows Program a decade after her death from cancer at age 77.

Anderson, whom Paxton described as “a tireless advocate of historic preservation,” taught architectural history at the University of Southern Maine and co-wrote “Portland” and “Deering: A Social and Architectural History,” both published by Greater Portland Landmarks.

“She and Bill Barry worked on the ‘Deering’ book for about 10 years,” said proud husband Richard Anderson, a former commissioner with the Maine Department of Conservation. “She worked on it right until the end. She was a wicked good writer.”

“That was a hugely important book,” said Hilary Bassett, executive director of Greater Portland Landmarks. “Rather than relying on stories and remembrances, Patricia went to the building records, archives, city directories and maps to find documents that supported the stories behind the buildings. Greater Portland Landmarks has been conducting survey work in Deering. The work Patricia started is now carrying on in a big way. It wouldn’t have happened without her.”

“We can think of no better way to honor Patricia than to dedicate the professional education of the next generation of historic preservationists,” Paxton said.

For the past decade, Maine Preservation interns have divided their summers between hands-on carpentry with Preservation Timber Framing in Berwick and Bagala Window Works in Westbrook and advocacy work with Maine Preservation, which is based at historic Captain Reuben Merrill House in Yarmouth. Thanks to donations to the Patricia Anderson Summer Fellows Program, future fellows will be paid. The fund was started with a $2,500 donation by trustee Arron Sturgis, owner of Preservation Timber Framing and a past president of Maine Preservation. Gala attendees raised their paddles to pledge $5,375 to the fund.

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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