115-Year-Old Cottage with Storied History is on the Market
The historic La Rochelle mansion in Bar Harbor is listed for sale. Currently owned by Maine Seacoast Mission, the non-profit has listed the property with Kimberly Swan of The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty.
The magnificent La Rochelle has over forty rooms and 13,000 square feet of living space. Manicured lawns and gardens accentuate the breathtaking scale and architectural details of the mansion. Situated on West Street in Bar Harbor on nearly three oceanfront acres, this is an extraordinary opportunity to purchase a grand historical property.
One of the few remaining Bar Harbor ‘Cottages’ of the Gilded Age, La Rochelle was constructed starting in 1902 for George Sullivan Bowdoin, great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton and partner at J.P. Morgan. Bowdoin commissioned Andrews, Jacques & Rantoul, Architects to design the Georgian Revival home, the first Bar Harbor mansion to be constructed of brick, which was completed in 1903.
Following the death of George Sullivan Bowdoin in 1913 and his son, Temple, in 1914, the property passed to Bowdoin’s daughter, Edith Bowdoin. Edith, a philanthropist and major supporter of the ASPCA, is best known today for her donations of water troughs and fountains for horses in Bar Harbor and Manhattan. After Edith’s death the 1940s, La Rochelle was acquired by the Colket family of Philadelphia.
The Colkets took great pride in La Rochelle and were widely renowned for their impeccably maintained property—hedges trimmed to perfection, lawns mowed in perfect English stripes, and the gravel driveway raked daily. The Colkets donated La Rochelle to a favorite charity, The Maine Seacoast Mission, in 1972. La Rochelle has served as The Mission’s headquarters and is currently called The Colket Center.
“We want to convert this asset into services and programs for Downeast Maine,” Rev. Scott Planting, Seacoast Mission’s President, recently told the Bangor Daily News. The Mission’s programs provide medical and dental care to underserved coastal and island communities, as well as pastoral and spiritual support for those seeking it. All proceeds from the sale of the property will directly support Maine Seacoast Mission.
“I am thrilled and honored to be representing such a significant property,” said listing broker Kimberly Swan. “LaRochelle is an iconic landmark in Bar Harbor and while many of us will miss the Seacoast Mission’s presence on West Street, the next owner will have one of the most spectacular historic homes on the Coast of Maine and probably all of New England.”