Mt. Merici Historic District
18 Mt Merci Ave., Waterville, Maine
+44.55353, -69.6549944°33'13" N, 69°39'18" W
Mt. Merici Historic District, Kennebec County, 1954 - 1967
Date listed: 3/28/2019
Criterion A: Education Criterion C: Architecture Local Significance
The Mt. Merici Historic District, which includes the Ursuline Motherhouse Convent, adjoining Mt. Merici Academy, Ursuline Sister's Cemetery, related site features, and two modern buildings is located on the outskirts of Waterville, Kennebec County, Maine. The district is locally significant under National Register Criterion A in the area of Education and under Criterion C in the area of Architecture. The period of significance runs from 1954, when the current Mt. Merici Academy building was constructed, to 1967, when the convent was constructed. The two buildings replaced an earlier combined convent and school building on the site. Mt. Merici Academy (old and new buildings) served as a Catholic school for girls from 1912 until 1967, when it became a coeducational day school, while the convent buildings were the principal residence for the Ursuline Sisters stationed in the Diocese of Portland from 1912 to 2005. The site was an important educational, residential, and spiritual center for the Ursuline Sisters for over 93 years. The district is architecturally significant as a cohesively linked educational campus of religious origin united historically by physical development that currently is dominated by Modern buildings but reflects the continuous occupation and development of the campus through time. Further, the convent and academy buildings are architecturally significance as well-preserved examples of Modernist style. The academy represents the Modernist work of Augusta architects Bunker and Savage, one of Maines preeminent institutional design firms during the long duration of its existence from 1919 until 2015. The convent was designed by the Boston firm of Whelan and Westman, Architects (1945-1967), which did considerable Modernist work for Catholic churches and organizations. As a result of its religious associations, the property meets Criterion Consideration A for National Register listing. The propertys significance is due to its historical associations with the local community and for its architectural significance rather than for any religious associations. The cemetery does not need to meet Criterion D because it will be nominated as part of a district but is not the focal point of the district. The buildings, cemetery, shrine, statuary, walkways, and drives are all functionally related parts of the Mt. Merici convent and school campus and existed together during the period of significance. The district possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling and association.
- April 12, 2019: Added by Brian Bartlett