Untitled Document

Freedom Maine Historical Society
Freedom Community Historical Society

Freedom Maine Historical Society Keen Hall

Keen Hall - One of the ten “Most Endangered Historically Significant Properties in Maine.”

Keen Hall

Built ca. 1850 and located at the intersection of Main Street and State Rt. 137 (Belfast Road) in Freedom. It is in close proximity to the recently restored Mill at Freedom Falls, the home of the much acclaimed The Lost Kitchen. Keen Hall was once the family residence of Carter B. Keen. Keen graduated from Freedom Academy, Columbia College and Columbia Law School. He practiced law in Washington D.C., and in 1911 became the first director of the Postal Savings System, a part of the U.S. Postal Service that provided an alternative to traditional banking for immigrants and the working class families. Even prior to this success, Keen regularly donated to Freedom Academy, funding the repairs to the 1836 Academy building (which no longer stands). Later, Keen conferred ownership of Keen Hall to Freedom Academy for use as the Principal's house.
Acquired by the Town of Freedom due to tax foreclosure, the Freedom Historical Society presented the only bid for the abandoned building. Since then, the Freedom Historical Society has been in the process of rehabilitating restoring the property to its 1930’s state. The restoration project began in 2016. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2018. When fully restored, "Keen Hall" will serve as a much-needed community center, including a community library, and public space for meetings. It will also serve as the Freedom Historical Society’s headquarters, housing our archival collections of oral, print, photographic, and <  Our early Keen Hall projects were aimed at re-establishing the structural integrity of the building -- jacking the building to remove & replace the crumbling foundation, rebuilding flooring structural members, installing an entirely new back section floor on a concrete slab, and replacing the front retaining wall.
Starting in 2020 our projects marked a transition to the work of truly restoring Keen Hall into becoming a functional community center and a visual icon of Maine’s small village era heritage -- removal of first-floor interior wall lathing and plaster, re-framing of walls with new studs, walls, doors and windows in rooms began the long-awaited restoration of the main portions of the first floor in earnest. 
Also in 2022 restoration of the Maine
Street front facade (portico, steps, clapboards, and windows) began.

In 2023 the Keen Hall roof was replaced, setting the stage for interior finish construction. The fully restored Keen Hall Community Center will serve the Freedom Community Historical Society as headquarters and serve as home of our archival collections of oral, print, photographic, and digital resources of local and historical importance. As progress proceeded towards a planned completion in 2023, the local public has become increasingly aware of the social and educational value of local historic preservation -- resulting in a growing collection of some 8000 catalogued documents, another 520 awaiting final categorization, and an additional 21 cubic feet of documents, pictures, and bound records.


We have now completed Phase 1 of the restoration of Keen Hall. This included lifting the building, removing the existing crumbling foundation, pouring a new concrete foundation, readying the site for a compliant septic system and a supply of potable water. The restored building will include a town library and meeting space; storage of historical archives; workspace for community volunteers; and an affordable apartment to make the project sustainable for the long term. The Freedom Historical Society has received in- kind donations from professionals and now have architectural, landscaping and septic plans.



The tax acquired building and property was purchased in part with a generous grant from the Gibson Foundation. several private donations and local fund raising. Substantial pro bono contributions from Preservation Architect Christopher Glass, Landscape Architect Stephen Mohr, and Frick Engineering have created and auspicious beginning to this project. Local Fund Raising activities, such as Freedom Follies, the Freedom Winter Festival, and an Annual Appeal and membership drive have been initiated and are expected to expand. With this funding and it's expansion. we are confidently moving into Phase II of this project.

Revised Floor Plan PDF


Like us on Facebook

Freedom Maine history

Freedom Historical Society on Facebook
Like us on Facebook
FreedomMaine.com © 2022
Historical Society, P.O. 52 Freedom, ME 04941
Freedom Maine Historical Society on Facebook


Web Design
Web Design Services LogoMaster.com
SEO by A1A-web-design.com