News & Blog

Belvedere Historic Preservation $15,000 Grant Award

For Immediate Release:

September 21, 2020

Contact: Kristen Levesque
Kristen Levesque PR & Marketing

The Frances Perkins Center Receives $15,000 Grant from the Belvedere Historic Preservation
and Energy Efficiency Fund of the Maine Community Foundation

(Newcastle, Maine) The Frances Perkins Center is pleased to announce that it has received a $15,000 grant from the Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Fund of the Maine Community Foundation for the Frances Perkins Homestead National Historic Landmark. The grant will help fund repair work and re-shingling of roof of the homestead barn, to protect the integrity of this historic connected New England barn structure.

The Homestead was continuously occupied by the Perkins family from t he 1750s until its recent acquisition by the Frances Perkins Center in January 2020. This remarkable saltwater farm sits on 57-acres, one of the last large unbuilt landscapes along the Damariscotta River. The property is anchored by the 1837 Brick House–a transitional Federal/Greek Revival masonry structure that is part of a connected barn complex. Frances Perkins owned the property from 1927-1965. The buildings, cultural landscape, and collections offer excellent opportunities to interpret the legacy of Frances Perkins and the economic and social history of Maine that shaped her commitment to social welfare.

The Center recently received $500,000 from the National Park Service’s Save America’s Treasures grant program to preserve and restore the Homestead. To date, the Center has raised more than $3 million toward its $5.5 million capital campaign goal. Preservation work on the property will begin later this year. The Center will continue to offer educational programming virtually and through its traveling exhibit during COVID, with in-person programs to be announced when viable and safe.

About the Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Grant Program

Administered by the Maine Community Foundation, the Belvedere Historic Preservation and Energy Efficiency Grant Program invests in the preservation, restoration, and retrofitting of historic buildings in Maine. The Frances Perkins Center was one of 25 organizations and businesses from Eastport to Kennebunk to receive these grants.

About Frances Perkins
Frances Perkins (1880-1965), the first woman to serve in a U.S. presidential cabinet, was Secretary of Labor (1933-1945) for the entire tenure of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Perkins was the driving force behind many of the groundbreaking New Deal programs that are still the foundation of the American social safety net—Social Security, unemployment insurance, the 40-hour work week, and the minimum wage. Born in Boston, educated in the public schools of Worcester, and a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, she spent summers throughout her life at her ancestral family homestead in Newcastle, Maine, now a National Historic Landmark owned by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Frances Perkins Center.

About the Frances Perkins Center
The Frances Perkins Center is dedicated to honoring and preserving the legacy of the woman behind the New Deal by continuing Frances Perkins’ work for social justice and economic security and by preserving for future generations her nationally significant family homestead in Newcastle, Maine.

To learn more about this project and the Frances Perkins Center, contact Michael Chaney, Executive Director, email, call (207) 563-3374, or visit

Hi-res images available upon request.



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