In 1823, the construction of a bridge across the Androscoggin River linking Maine’s “LA” (a.k.a. the twin cities of Lewiston and Auburn) spurred nearly a century of residential growth on the Auburn side. With the influx from its larger, industrial neighbor, Auburn — established as a log driver’s camp in the late 19th century — saw stately Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Colonial Revival homes crop up on its Main Street. Among the most show-stopping, and significant in the realm of Queen Anne architecture, is the 1890 A. A. Garcelon House. Conceived by local architect Jefferson L. Colburn for Arthur A. Garcelon, a partner in a local grocery and provisions firm, the home commands attention with its asymmetrical design, bowed porch, and three-story rounded tower with a curved roof. A closer look reveals the intricate, stylistic details — sunburst panels, decorative siding patterns, multi-colored windowpanes — that serve as the proverbial icing on this architectural delight.
Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.