Museum L-A's Peter, Paul and Noel: Why Lewiston's Basilica is Bent Lecture 6/19/2018

19 Jun 2018 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

Did you know that Lewiston’s famous Basilica is crooked? Once you hear this talk, you’ll never see the basilica of Saints Peter and Paul in the same way!

Alice Bisson-Barnes is returning to her hometown of Lewiston to share the hidden story of the Basilica’s construction, focusing on the contributions of architect Noel Coumont who has been blamed for the bend in the building.

Her talk, "Peter, Paul and Noel: Why Lewiston's Basilica is Bent," will be held at Museum L-A on Tuesday, June 19th, 6:30-7:30 pm. It is free and open to the public.

“Who else do you know built a crooked church?”  Bisson-Barnes asks. “I know a genius who did right there in Lewiston. The man was maligned but he was a genius.” She will share stories about how the Dominicans worked, their battles with the bishops, their humanity, and their enormous contributions to the Twin Cities.

Bisson-Barnes now lives in California and has retired from her career as a civilian contracting officer with the United States Navy. She is thrilled to come back to her hometown and share a story that means so much to her.  “Historians continuously erroneously write that he was fired because the church is bent,” she says. “I show, using historic photos, how Noel built the church precisely where it is now because that was where the Dominicans wanted it way back in 1906.” 

Bisson-Barnes will offer a lively and informative presentation with a playful spirit. “I am bringing with me from California something that has never been seen before by humans anywhere—not even by myself!” she says.  Join us on June 19th to figure out the mystery.

Museum L-A is located in the Bates Mill Complex at 35 Canal Street in Lewiston, Maine.  Its hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 am to 4 pm and Saturdays from 10 am to 3 pm.  Special tour requests and large group tours outside of these hours are available by appointment.

For more information, please contact or call 207-333-3881.

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Maine Archives and Museums

P.O. Box 784, Portland, Maine 04104


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