Sunday, January 18, 2009

Our White House

With the inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama, the capitol of the U.S. is endlessly a target of the news, with the White House serving as one of the main symbols of our nation. The History channel is even letting us into unseen rooms of this historic icon in their special, "The White House: Behind Closed Doors," Monday, January 19 at 10:00 PM and Tuesday, January 20 at 02:00 AM eastern time.

But are you aware of Maine's very own White House? The James P. White House of Belfast, ME also stands as a great symbol. of Maine's great architectural heritage and preservation. The house also stands as an entity that has remained largely unchanged over a great period of time and development, teaching us much about

Most recently, the White House was owned by Maine painter Terry Prescott. While he owned the house, he made several renovations and repairs in an effort to preserve the building and revive the original condition of the house, designed in 1840. Prescott opened up the White House as a Bed & Bath bringing in travelers to enjoy this gem, but also opening the building for dining and events, allowing locals to get a peek inside this grand, historic home.

As I reflect upon the history-changing/making events that are to come to our nation this week, I cautiously ponder the future of our own White House. One can only hope that the next owner will appreciate the unique history of this building, its symbolism of the changing times from the nineteenth to the twentieth century, and its splendid version of historic Maine architecture.

To those who have not visited Belfast, I urge you to come visit the Church Street historic district, and to experience the James P. White House as stands (and will hopefully remain so), an entry into our past.