Story and photos by Alyssa Eriksen
Special to NFP
The grand opening of the new welcome center in the Village of Lewiston is well on its way. Working to drive people into the Village of Lewiston, Deputy Mayor Bruce Sutherland has a number of teams working to bring this project to a close.
Originally the Piper Law Office - and situated next to the A-Plus Mini-Mart, the welcome center is now located across the street from Tops - literally right behind the Lewiston welcome sign. At the edge of Academy Park, this makes it a prime location and greatly visible for newcomers, as well as locals looking forward to what Lewiston has to offer.
Many new renovation tasks have been set into place, as well as many now finished.
A staple in the building is the fireplace, originally part of the house, and said to have been there even before the War of 1812. It was recently restored.
"By the way the fireplace was attached, we can see this was part of the original home, which is exciting," Sutherland said.
He said the fireplace has a rich heritage behind it, which people would enjoy hearing. With many celebrations coming up for the War of 1812 anniversary (Lewiston playing such a key part in the battle), it is unique to have a piece of history within the building.
Other work includes:
•Alden Evergreen Nursery has provided the landscaping.
•The staircase is up and running.
•Volunteers completed the drywall preparations for the ceiling and walls.
•Windows are set into place, and skim coat is set and ready to paint.
•The Kiwanis Club of Lewiston is set to volunteer member hands for painting.
•Chris Connelly of Kinetic Kitchens and Bath has donated the fixtures for the bathroom, which is handicap accessible.
•Russ Conrad is donating the outside welcome sign, as well as the stone pillars.
•VFW of Lewiston is set to donate the outside poles and American flags.
Sutherland has many ideas to drive people in once the project is complete. He is excited to have this center as a part of the many upcoming projects within this year and next, all working to honor the village, as well as educate locals and outsiders.
He was elected to be in charge of this project due to his prior experience working with the Historic Association of Lewiston Museum.
"We're working every day, a little bit at a time, to ensure that it is completed," Sutherland said. With completions set for April 29, the official opening date will be set sometime in May. Sherburne Piper was the original owner of the law office. There is a possibility that a statue will be set inside the building to commemorate him.