Chretien Construction Inc - Maine Irish Heritage Center

Maine Irish Heritage Center Vertical Lift Upfit

The Maine Irish Heritage Center’s Mission is to:

Maine Irish Heritage Center

Protect, preserve and restore the historic landmark that was formerly St. Dominic’s Church, a hub of early Irish community in Maine;

Provide a center for Maine’s diverse communities to share their cultural experiences through education programs and community events; and

House Maine’s Irish Genealogical Center and Library, preserving the story of Irish history in Maine.

This project consists of renovating an existing stairwell to allow for a vertical lift to make upstairs of the decommissioned St. Dominic’s church accessible from downstairs function hall as well as Gray Street side entrance. This project is made possible from grant money from the City of Portland. At this time they are hosting an indoor farmers market. There is also a library and genealogy center upstairs dedicated to the Irish Ancestry as the communicants of old church were predominately Irish.

The challenge of this project is some of the unforeseen obstacles such as a wood floor where there was though to be a cement slab. Working with ttl architects and there consultant we were able to create a solution in a matter of hours and kept the project moving forward to keep this on schedule. The architect firm ttl architects is the design firm who specializes in historic landmarks and have been working with MIHC for over a year in making this project a reality as well in helping procure the grant money. This project will be done in phases as they are able to raise money.

This is not a typical lift installation as to keep to the architectural elements of the building the typical steel doors are being replaced with paneled wood doors to make it less intrusive.

We are happy to be selected for this project and enjoy the challenges we are faced in making this work as designed. We have found ways to salvage as much as we can for future use such as the street level entrance platform.

Gray Street Entrance Platform

Sprinkler to removed for Shaft




Stair to be replaced

MIHC 5 Before

Stairs to choir loft, home of 3rd level of lift.




Gray Street Entrance

MIHC Gray Street Entrance

Platform to be salvaged.

Timbers here are 3x12.

MIHC Shaft Cut out

Start of shaft hole to Main floor.

MIHC Shaft 2

6x12 beam and 3x12 joist.

MIHC Material for Slab

Material for slab, due to distance

from road we opted to mix on site.


Exploration hole to determine full

contact of existing slab with soil.

MIHC Steel in Slab

Rebar in slab, 6" thick.

MIHC Finished slab

Finished slab

MIHC Start of removing framing

Framing removed and supports in place

MIHC Shaft walls being erected

Shaft walls being erected

MIHC Gray street level looking down

Start of drywall on exterior of shaft to allow for attachment of structral members to shaft

MIHC Drywall

MIHC Inside shaft

Looking up


Finishing Drywall

Finished Sanctuary Level

Doors Installed and painted

Gray Street Level

Gray Street Level



Chretien Construction Inc.
35 Berry Rd, Saco,ME 04072
Fax - 207-284-5843
Email - Chretien Construction Inc.
Copyright 2011 Chretien Constructon Inc