Coles Tower Honored by Maine Preservation

coles_towerIf you’re of a certain age, you may not regard a building put up 50 years ago as “historic” — but you’d be wrong. A non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of historic buildings in Maine has honored one of Bowdoin’s most iconic modern buildings.

Maine Preservation has included Coles Tower among the 16 projects to be recognized in its 2015 statewide honor awards. The 16-story structure, designed by noted architect Hugh Stubbins, was Maine’s tallest building when it was completed in 1964.

Restoration efforts, completed this year, presented a number of logistical challenges because of the need to access some of the building’s hard-to-reach exterior features.

According to Maine Preservation, these included the patching of limestone windowsills and the use of boom and scissor lifts to complete brick repair. The completed tower – which houses approximately 200 students — is described as being once again a community icon, a symbol of innovation and a magnet for Bowdoin’s student population.

The Maine Preservation awards are given to projects which are judged to have fulfilled community needs while also providing a boost to the economy throughout the state. The awards honor individuals, property owners, architects, developers and others who have contributed to historic building preservation in Maine.

In the case of the Coles Tower project, the award not only recognizes Bowdoin college, but
Harriman Architects, Consigli Construction, Portland Glass, Stimpson Gumpertz & Heger, Seacoast Scaffold & Equipment, Safe Approach, and Standard Waterproofing.

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