The demolition of Lancaster House (the former Alpha Kappa Sigma fraternity house), located at 38 Harpswell Road, will begin on Monday, November 25, 2013, in order to make room for future construction. The College is currently exploring the possibility of building an arctic museum with additional academic space on the site. Any future development on the site will be in keeping with the surrounding campus and neighborhood.
“Lancaster House has been vacant since the College acquired it in 2000,” said S. Catherine Longley ’76, Bowdoin’s senior vice president for finance and administration & treasurer. “Today, it is an eyesore that would require extensive repairs and renovations to make functional. It is clearly financially imprudent to spend these resources on a building that, according to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, is neither architecturally nor historically significant. The College recognizes the role the building played in the lives of many Bowdoin alumni who established friendships and lifelong bonds within its walls. But, given the deteriorated and dangerous condition of the building, it is time to take it down.”
The demolition contractor will repurpose and recycle much of the building materials in order to be sensitive to the environment, and will make every effort to minimize traffic interference, dust and debris, and inconvenience to neighbors. The parking lot located directly behind the Asian Studies Program offices (38 College Street) will remain open during the demolition, but there may be days when the parking lot exit next to Lancaster House will be closed. In that event, cars will have to exit with care through the lot entrance.
The demolition, grading, and re-seeding is expected to be completed in 2-3 weeks.