Historic Cumston Hall
Cumston Hall is one of the crown jewels of Maine. To the chance passerby it comes as a startling surprise, towering dramatically over Main Street. Its exquisite stained glass windows and asymmetrical design capture the imagination. Theater enthusiasts from all over New England know the hall as the home to Theater at Monmouth, Maine's Shakespearean theater. But for Monmouth's residents, regular visitors and longtime friends, Cumston Hall is more than a remarkable building or intimate theater- it represents the heart and center of the Town of Monmouth.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings since 1976, Cumston Hall is a valued architectural gem. While Dr. Charles M. Cumston donated the funds for the building to the Town of Monmouth in 1899, it has always been a gift shared with the community at large.
Dr. Cumston commissioned Harry Cochrane, an accomplished painter, writer, composer and musician, to design the building. Cochrane's design transformed Cumston's vision for a town hall into a grand building, with an opera hall, library, caucus room and town office all in one. Cumston Hall was built in just one year at a cost of $20,000. Well ahead of its time in amenities, the building boasted indoor plumbing and, at Dr. Cumston's insistence, was lighted by electricity - the first building in Monmouth with this convenience.
The building's architecture is a mix of a Romanesque style of asymmetrical columns and towers and varying external textures of the Queen Anne period. The building is decorated throughout with plaster ornamentation, beautifully crafted exterior and interior wood trim, and hand stenciled ceilings. The 250-seat opera hall features elaborate plaster carvings, and a fresco mural ceiling. More than 100 stained glass windows adorn the Hall.
In addition to being the home of Theater at Monmouth, Cumston Hall houses
the Cumston Public Library and serves as the performance space
for Monmouth Academy, the Monmouth school systems, and the Monmouth Community
For more information about Cumston Hall, see the Friends of Cumston Hall.