Public Buildings of Mount Desert Island

a project of
V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 84 - Hulls Cove, Maine  04644

(updated 8 October 2023)

Welcome to the public buildings of Mount Desert Island home page, part of the Mount Desert Island Cultural History Project.

Purpose of this web page: The purpose of this web page is to present information about Mount Desert Island's public buildings. If little is known about a building, it will be reported below. When substantially more information is learned, a separate web page will be created for that building and a link will be provided below.

How to contribute: All information (including images) should be e-mailed to or sent by traditional mail to MDI Public Buildings at the address at the top of this page.

Click on the name of the town you are interested in, or scroll down to see information for all the towns on Mount Desert Island.

Bar Harbor
Mount Desert
Southwest Harbor

Bar Harbor

Bar Harbor Post Office - 55 Cottage Street
   1909: construction in progress; paragraph in The Bar Harbor Record, Wednesday, 20 October 1909, page 5, column 2
   2011 April 3: building
Fire Station - 37 Firefly Lane (corner of Kennebec Place and Rodick Street)
   [year?]: designed by Frederick L. Savage
Hulls Cove Post Office
Jesup Memorial Library - 34 Mount Desert Street (portrait of Morris Jesup)
Municipal Building - 93 Cottage Street (building on 1 May 2010)
   [year?]: designed by Frederick L. Savage as Bar Harbor High School
Salisbury Cove Post Office

Mount Desert

Mount Desert Fire Station - 21 Sea Street, Northeast Harbor
Neighborhood House - Northeast Harbor
   designed by Andrews, Jacques, & Rantoul of Boston
   [1905 or 1906?]: opened
Northeast Harbor Fire Department - “opposite Gilman School”
   ca. 1903: built
Northeast Harbor Library - 1 Joy Road, Northeast Harbor
   land on South Shore Road donated by Daniel Kimball; agent for transfer: Herman L. Savage
   designed by Frederick L. Savage (brother of Herman L. Savage)
   1892: opened
   1948: land at intersection of Joy Road and Summit Road purchased from Lawrie Holmes
   new library designed by Roger Griswold
   1950: Milliken Room wing donated (before main building was completed) by Agnes Milliken in memory of Gerrish Milliken Sr.
   1965: wing donated by Mrs. Flagler Harris and dedicated in memory of her murdered daughter, Anne; designed by Robert Patterson
   1980: Astor Room (for children) donated by Brooke Astor; originally offered as an office for library director Robert R. Pyle, but he transformed it into a children's room. Exterior designed by Robert Patterson, interior by Robert R. Pyle
   1980: Eighteen-foot addition with skylight and clerestory window designed and executed by R. L. White and Son at the same time the Astor Room was being built. This addition, funded by the trustees, transformed the room from a small sitting room to fine arts shelving with an exhibition space and meeting room. The room was named for Antoinette deCoursey Patterson (Mrs. Thomas Hoge Patterson).
   1985: Mellon Room donated by Gertrude Mellon (using funds received from former husband Matthew Mellon) in memory of their son Karl. Designed by William McHenry and built by R. L. White and Son.
   2007 (December 17): opening of new 14,000-sq.-ft. building. Dedicated in the summer of 2008. Designed by Stewart Brecher and Samuel Woodward of Brecher and Woodward, with Stewart Brecher being the lead.
Otter Creek Post Office
   1925 May 5: burned; article (part 1; part 2) in The Bar Harbor Times, Wednesday, 6 May 1925, page 1, column 2
Northeast Harbor Post Office
Seal Harbor Library - 5 Main Street, Seal Harbor
Seal Harbor Post Office
Somesville Library - 116 Somesville Drive (Main Street) (library on 22 November 2009)
   1884: Ladies' Aid Society formed and books gathered
   1886: Masquerade Ball raised $45 used to purchase approximately 200 books
   1900–1901: current building constructed
Somesville Post Office

Southwest Harbor

Manset Public Library
Southwest Harbor Fire Station
Southwest Harbor Post Office
Southwest Harbor Public Library - 338 Main Street
   1884: “Mrs. Annie Sawyer Downs gathered a number of discarded books from the hotels, mostly paper covered volumes, and placed them on a shelf in one corner of Dr. R. J. Lemont’s drug store ... .” [from “Traditions and Records: Southwest Harbor and Somesville” by Mrs. Seth S. Thornton. 1938]
   1888 March 17: formation of The Tremont Public Library Association
   1893: land purchased from Mrs. Rachel C. Allen of Waltham, Massachusetts
   date?: building designed by Prof. Eleazer Homer, architect and summer resident
   built by Melvin Norwood, contractor
   1895 October 3: building dedicated
   1897 February 6: declared free of debt
   ca. 1905: name changed to Southwest Harbor Public Library


Bass Harbor Lighthouse
   [1856 August 18?]: $5000 appropriated by Congress
   designed by W. B. Franklin
   1958: in service
   1885: hand-operated fog bell replaced by brick fog signal house
Bass Harbor Memorial Library - Bernard
Bass Harbor Post Office - Bass Harbor
Bernard Library - Bernard
Bernard Post Office - Bernard
Tremont Fire Station - Bass Harbor
Tremont Town Office - Bass Harbor