In 2010, the Town was redeveloping the downtown and had the opportunity to purchase one of four gas stations on Main Street downtown Kennebunk. The Town voted to purchase the former Mobil Gas Station at 51 Main Street for $280,000. The Town was awarded a Brownfield Grant to clean the site and sought options for commercial development.
In the meantime, the Town filled the space with the Farmers’ Market, Artisans’ Night Market, festival events, winter ice skating, and community events, while seeking a developer for the property. A citizen-initiated petition to keep the property for Town use, won by a 3 to 1 margin.
The Town was fortunate to have a local resident, Geraldine Waterhouse and her granddaughter, Paige Hill, offer to preserve the ice skating and other activities for the community with a $1.5 million dollar endowment. The community responded by raising over $630,000 to construct a 100’ x 120’ open sided, four season pavilion for youth and family events, festivals and activities. The pavilion also includes a 60’x90’ winter ice skating rink. At a meeting in the spring of 2014, the Board of Selectmen voted to name the pavilion “The Waterhouse Center."