The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods Gathering Space
The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods is right next door to Stevens Square at Baxter Woods in Portland, Maine’s Deering Center neighborhood. Here is a conversation that took place in the Motherhouse Gathering Space, a restored former chapel:
Instant Friends with Common Interests
Terri & Fred and Elizabeth & Larry met each other for the first time just a few minutes before this conversation. They were instant friends and you can see them envisioning what their lives will be like. If you liked this video, there are plenty more in our Video Gallery.
From Springfield, Illinois and Stonington, Maine respectively, the two couples chose Stevens Square at Baxter Woods primarily because it is a 55 plus community. As you heard, they feel it gives them a better chance to associate with like minded people than a regular neighborhood or plain condominium development would.
Plus, Stevens Square at Baxter Woods offers amenities that make it easier to be active and share common interests. The gathering space inside the Motherhouse is one such amenity.
Modern Condominium Living at Stevens Square at Baxter Woods
Both couples are future homeowners in Stevens Square Building One, which is currently under construction. They will enjoy one floor living in modern, customized homes with under-building parking. There is still time to join these folks and move in 2020.
Stevens Square homeowners will also benefit from condominium ownership. This will allow them to spend less time with home maintenance and more time enjoying life…and new friends.
An 18.98 acre Master Planned Community
The Stevens Square at Baxter Woods condominiums are Portland, Maine’s first and only 55+ Active Adult community. They are also part of an 18.98 acre master planned campus at the heart of the city. And it is directly next to the forever preserved 30 acre Baxter Woods.
Within the campus there is even more green space. The former Maine Girls’ Academy building is in the process of being transformed into the Stevens Square Community Center, complete with fitness center, indoor pool, large auditorium, and classroom spaces. The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods sits at the center of it all.
The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods: Award-winning Historic Preservation
In addition to gathering space available to Stevens Square at Baxter Woods homeowners, the Motherhouse at Baxter Woods is home to 88 households. The strong sense of community already in place will bolster the growing camaraderie among future Stevens Square homeowners.
The Motherhouse (nee St. Joseph’s Convent) is the result of over a century of history and a visionary, award-winning preservation effort by Stevens Square creator Kevin Bunker of Developers Collaborative. No stranger to awards, Kevin will be honored again on December 13th by the City of Portland Development Council when he receives the 2019 Economic Development Achievement Award.
The dome of The Motherhouse is visible for miles around Portland, and has stood as a prominent local landmark since its construction in 1909. The three-story classical revival style brick building is ornamented with many beautiful features, including quoins, a detailed copper cornice, and the famous central entry tower topped by the copper cupola and Celtic cross.
Home to the Sisters of Mercy until 2005, the order, founded in 1856, has focused on helping people through volunteer work in schools, hospitals and other community institutions.
In the mid-1990s the Sisters began their search for a new purpose for the Motherhouse, beginning a 20-year odyssey to identify an appropriate reuse plan that was economically feasible, sustainable and in keeping with their mission. This journey resulted in the $15 million rehabilitation of the Motherhouse into 66 affordable and 22 market priced apartments.
Here is a video about the restoration of The Motherhouse:
The Motherhouse was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places, joining a host of Portland, Maine landmarks.
The project received a Maine Preservation Honor Award in 2018.