TEXT BY JULIE SENK
PHOTOGRAPHED BY KEVIN BENNETT
Cherryfield’s charming (and slightly crooked) Patten Building has been a downtown fixture since 1865. Originally a shoe manufactory and shop for first owner Frank W. Patten, the two-and-a-half-story, Italianate-style building went on to house a general store/butcher shop, pool hall, and insurance company, among other commercial ventures. In the late 1890s, customers could purchase groceries, see a barber for a trim, and send a telegraph here!
In November 1865, the Machias Republican reported on the construction of the Patten Building, noting that it was “to be finished in good style” — a likely reference to the molded window crowns, cornice studded with brackets and dentils, and chamfered pilasters that remain today. Inside, the charm continues with tin ceilings, wood floors, and an abundance of light streaming through the original windows. The open floor plan could once again serve as a store, or as a gallery or studio, with living space above. The cherry on top? A stunning view of the Narraguagus River, framed in the third-floor window.
New owners need not worry about the aforementioned quirky lean, as the building’s structural soundness has been verified. The exterior will benefit from fresh coats of paint and the floors need refinishing. Standard upgrades that have been initiated, like new wiring and restoration of the tin ceilings, must be completed. Renovations that brought the second-floor walls down to the laths also require finishing, and an upstairs bath should probably be added in the process.