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Coburn Hall

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1887–1888, Frank E. Kidder. Sebec Rd.
  • (Courtesy of the University of Maine)

Housing the departments of Agriculture and Natural History at the Maine State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts (now the University of Maine at Orono), Coburn Hall was an important addition to one of the nation’s early land grant colleges. The three-story brick building with stone trim was erected in 1887–1888 by Boston architect (and Maine State College alumnus) Frank E. Kidder, who received nationwide fame with his 1885 publication of The Architects’ and Builders’ Pocket-book (later The Architects’ and Builders’ Handbook). The Romanesque Revival structure contained a natural history museum, library, classrooms, and administrative offices. It was named for Governor Abner Coburn, who donated the funds for its construction.


Beard, Frank A., and Robert L. Bradley, “University of Maine at Orono Historic District,” Penobscot County, Maine. National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination Form, 1978. National Park Service, U.S. Department of Interior, Washington, D.C.

“Coburn Hall.” University of Maine. Accessed October 13, 2016.

Fernal, Merritt Caldwell. History of the Maine State College and the University of Maine. Orono: University of Maine, 1916.

Hansen, Janet, “The Architecture of Maine’s Schools.” In Maine Forms of American Architecture, edited by Deborah Thompson. Camden, ME: Downeast Magazine, 1976.

Smith, David C. The First Century: A History of the University of Maine, 1865–1965. Orono: University of Maine Press, 1979.

Writing Credits

John F. Bauman
John F. Bauman



  • 1887


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John F. Bauman, "Coburn Hall", [Orono, Maine], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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