The William F. Safford House is a well-preserved Italianate mansion of the 1850s designed by a noted Portland architect. Built in 1858 on the corner of Spring and High Streets of dark red closely-laid brick with decorative elements of wood and dark brown sandstone known as brownstone, the Safford House is a restrained example of the Renaissance Revival or Italianate style popular in America between 1850 and 1889. Inside it preserves, in spite of eighty years of institutional use, a rich architectural character that conveys a sense of the flavor of late Victorian domestic life.
As an architecturally significant landmark building, was the ideal future home for Greater Portland Landmarks' Center for Architecture and Preservation. However, it needed multiple improvements to serve its functions as administrative offices, welcome and meeting space and library. Lachman Architects & Planners (along with Oldham Historic Properties) provided services for this project as Maine’s first Small Project’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit–to help offset the costs of improvements. The Scope of Work included:
- Brick Wall Stabilization–Dismantle sections of the northeast wall to sound conditions that are in plane with original construction. Reconstruct the wall to original bond, appearance and strike pattern.
- Brownstone Stabilization at Entry–Selected brownstone chards around the High St. entry canopy selectively stabilized to ensure there is no safety hazard at this public entrance. At Brownstone to brick joints at window surrounds, ensure weather tight masonry joints in and surrounding the stone to stop water from penetrating the edges where de-lamination begins.
- Roof–Remove built-up asphalt and felt roof system. Replace existing roofing with new. Gutters & Roof edge trim will be repaired or replaced if required with like materials and profiles. Flashing will be repaired as required.
- Chimneys–New flashing, new and repaired caps, and repointing and/or rebuilding tops to match existing profiles.
- Cupola–Remove and rehabilitate existing wood windows. Re-install rehabilitated windows in original openings.
- Wood Trim–Deteriorated wood trim repaired and/or consolidated with epoxies wherever possible. In-kind replacement of original trim is appropriate only for those elements that are not repairable. Prep, prime and repaint exterior wood trim as needed.
- Existing Windows–Remove and rehabilitate selected existing wood windows. Re-install rehabilitated windows in original openings
- Reinforce Library Floor–To accommodate library dead loads and possible future compact storage the floor must be reinforced. Floor reinforcement will consist of a simple system of new wood beams supported by new perimeter posts.
- Miscellaneous Finishes–Doors, bead-board ceiling and other finishes not previously painted will not be painted.