So, What Happened?
Over the two years that we opened up our home to local non-profits and the 58 Main Music Series, we (rightly) faced scrutiny from local and state code enforcement. At various points, these authorities had concerns with how we were using our home. We tried to remain compliant, operating the events within the guidelines we were given. However, the Maine State Fire Marshal ultimately decided what we were doing exceeded the use permitted. We were asked to stop, and if we wanted to continue, to make necessary changes to the space to be compliant with code for a place of assembly.
We Looked At Our Options
We really love the events and music and didn’t want to give them up. We spent a lot of time looking at and thinking about our options. The options, however, were pretty limiting. To be compliant in our space gets messy and expensive. To utilize the second floor as anything other than a living space requires installation of a lift or elevator…prohibitively expensive while also chewing up a significant amount of space inside the building.
That left the first floor as the possible venue going forward. We’d need to install an ADA compliant bathroom and isolate the first floor from the second to be fire code compliant. This option seemed somewhat reasonable, but…
…other changes were afoot in Bangor. Specifically, the Bangor Arts Exchange (BAE) opened as an alternative venue for live music in downtown. A large part of the reason we were doing 58 Main was to provide exactly the type of space the BAE now provides. We want to see them be successful and we don’t think competing with them helps their success.
So, we’ve decided to change how our space is used. As mentioned above, the only real option for our second floor is as living space. So, that sound is the sound of demolition as we start converting the 58 Main concert space to a sweet loft apartment. We hope to have it available for rent this summer. We’ll post plans and pictures as we progress. We’re excited to create more living space in downtown.
We will also be putting the first floor up for rent as commercial or retail space. If you or someone you know is looking for around 1,300 square feet of prime downtown space, get in touch.
The Music Continues
We’re not completely out of the fun of bringing great music to Bangor! Our friend Sean, who booked the acts here at 58 Main, is continuing with a new name but the same caliber of musicians. He’s calling the series New Nashville North and his series will be based at BAE on Exchange Street. He’s actively building a great roster of shows for the summer and beyond as you’re reading this.
Finally, Thank You!
Thank you to anyone and everyone who organized a non-profit event, a dance, or a concert. Thank you if you attended and supported any of these events…you help make Bangor a great place to live!
Special thanks to the 58 Main Music Series crew…
- Sean Gambrel for the idea and booking the acts
- Abby Roseberry Rice, Abbie Strout, Greg Edwards, & Shane McCarthy for door watching, beer pouring, and donation gathering
- Alex Knowles & Lucas Kinney for sound
- Aymie Walshe for stage curtains
- Jennifer & Michael Murphy for photographic documentation
- Abe & Heather Furth of Orono Brewing and Mia & Al Strong for great beer
- Harland Hasey for a working toilet 🙂
- Many other people who helped when we called…you know who you are
See you around Downtown Bangor!
Lance & Amy Blackstone