I have lived at 104 Summer St. seasonally since 2014 when I came here to help take care of my uncle Jimmy Barker. It was not my dream to have a house in Maine, let alone the most photographed, but it was in caring for my uncle that I came to care so much about this house and this town.

The Wedding Cake House. John Patriquin photo/Press Herald

There are many significant houses on Summer Street. Some bigger and some older, but none are more famously recognized than the Wedding Cake House. It is the subject of its own book by Tom Murphy, in over 60 architectural books and often subject for newspapers, magazines and TV news stories. There are postcards and wind chimes and statues sold as souvenirs.

I did not choose to own the Wedding Cake House, but when it came into my care I felt it deserved to be saved. My background as a builder and my wife, a designer, made us a good team to address the challenges, but there would be a high cost.

With the help of local talent, such as Cyrus Chilton and many others, we rebuilt the failing carriage house walls, restored the crumbling barn foundation, repaired leaks in the brick walls, repaired chimneys, replaced the fallen back porch and put on as much paint as we could to save the look of the decorative trim, but all that is not enough.

Bourne built an extraordinary house.

Mary Burnett and her daughter, Anne, spent 10 years doing an extraordinary restoration but what it needs now is also extraordinary. The wood has outlived its lifetime. All the hand carved decorative gothic trim needs to be replaced.


All owners since Bourne’s creation have struggled financially to maintain the architectural integrity of the Wedding Cake House. That is why I applied for the Wedding Cake House Contract Zone to add the ability to host boutique events and possibly an inn as it was in the past.

In just the month of July, 1,879 people searched for the Wedding Cake House, 4,263 viewed the Wedding Cake House profile, 745 went to our website to see photos and learn our history in the historic Landing area, 377 people got directions and I am pretty sure at least 300 showed up out front to take pictures.

But then they went to the Brick Store Museum or shopped at Old House Parts or got a sandwich at The Landing Store and I am happy about all of that because that supports this town. But none of that helped the Wedding Cake House.

That is what I am trying to do with this contract zoning. I am trying to help the Wedding Cake House, no matter who the owner is, to support itself for future generations to experience and the community to enjoy.

Hunt Edwards is owner and manager of the Wedding Cake House.

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