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Mount Desert Island: Shaped by Nature

Bar Harbor: Building of Arts

Building of Arts, Bar Harbor, ca. 1930
Building of Arts, Bar Harbor, ca. 1930
Building of Arts, Bar Harbor
Item Contributed by
Jesup Memorial Library

The September 13, 1905 edition of the Bar Harbor Record made the announcement: “A New Building for Music at Bar Harbor."

For many summers music lovers came to Bar Harbor with ever increasing numbers. To many it was evident that Bar Harbor had the potential to be more than a “mere summer resort” and become a “nucleus that would gather to itself each year whatever might be best in musical and other art."

A committee was formed to purchase a site for the building and raise the appropriate funds for construction. Land on the Cromwell Harbor Road, near the Kebo Valley Club was selected “not only for its accessibility and unrivalled mountain view but also for that quiet seclusion and freedom from disturbing influences which are necessary to all artistic accomplishment."

It was believed that this “opportunity is one of true public advantage and capable of far-reaching development."

The Building of Art did succeed for the next 25 or so years. Many famous artists and musicians performed on the stage of the lavish building.

As the Depression left its mark on the summer residents the Building of Art fell into disuse. In January 1943 the building was sold to E.D and Charles A. Holt with no immediate announcement of its future use. Then a mere three years later in April 1947 the Holts sold the building to Consuello Sides of Boston and New York. His plan was to use the building for a summer theatre. In October 1947 the Building of Arts was lost in the large fire that swept the eastern side of Mount Desert Island. The decision was made not to rebuild, a sad ending for a building that had started with such enthusiasm and promise.