2018-11-08 / Community News

HOB wins grant for clock tower

Biddeford City Hall’s clock tower is the recipient of a $150,000 historic preservation grant from American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation through the 2018 Partners in Preservation: Celebrating Diversity on Main Street campaign. The grant, which was awarded to and will be administered by Heart of Biddeford, will be used to bring the clock back to working order and to repair the four faces of decorative work outside the clock room.

Biddeford was one of 20 communities across the country with a project that was selected to compete for one of 10 $150,000 grants. The clock tower came in third place overall, receiving nearly 85,000 votes during the voting period of Sept. 24 and Oct. 26.

“It’s truly amazing to see that a community the size of Biddeford was able to collect tens of thousands of votes and rise above some of the largest cities in the country to win this grant,” said Mayor Alan Casavant, in a press release. “That’s really a testament to the dedication of our citizens and the passion that this community has for this local icon.”

To promote the Vote Your Main Street campaign and highlight the importance of the clock tower and historic preservation, each of the 20 competitors received a $20,000 grant from American Express at the beginning of the contest. Heart of Biddeford used that funding for several initiatives that generated support for not only the clock tower, but for the city of Biddeford as a whole.

A two-minute film produced by Andrew Dickinson, titled “It’s Our Time,” established the theme of Biddeford’s campaign and highlighted many of the unique businesses, residents and organizations that make Biddeford special. Heart of Biddeford also held an open house on Oct. 20 that included tours inside the clock tower and a community celebration outside city hall featuring projections on the clock tower, a performance from Sellam Circus and the reading of an original piece by local author Emma Bouthillette.

An official timeline for the restoration work will be established in coming weeks.

Biddeford City Hall, listed on the National Historic Register, was designed by Portland architect John Calvin Stevens in 1895 to replace the previous city hall building that was destroyed in a fire. The clock tower was added to Maine Preservation’s annual list of the state’s most endangered properties in 2014.

Return to top