New mansion taking shape in Bar Harbor

Where La Selva once stood, a new mansion is on the rise.

La Selva was an 8,600 square-foot grand cottage built in 1890 along a section of shore in Bar Harbor once known as ‘Millionaire’s Row.’ It had a colorful history, having seasonally housed an Astor and later functioned as a French-language immersion school, but it fell on hard times. After its last owner died in early 2013, the dilapidated property was put on the market.

The new owners, Bangor car dealership magnates John and Debbie Darling, decided La Selva was too far gone to save. It was demolished and, late this summer, construction began on a new mansion at the site.

According to papers on file at the Bar Harbor town office, the new ‘cottage’ will be smaller than its predecessor, with 6,100 square feet of living space spread out over three floors. This does not include a 2,000 square foot attached garage.

Town officials were not familiar with the planned construction schedule but, with framing still under way earlier this month, my guess is it will be another year before it is near completion (I took photos from the top of the driveway by the road, but they don’t reveal much. Not good enough to post here).

According to Angela Chamberlain, the town’s code enforcement officer, the projected construction cost is a little more than $2.1 million.

When then mansion is complete, I will add it to an interactive Google map I created of some of the more distinctive residential properties on Mount Desert Island (which has a lot of them). To view the map, click here.

Bill Trotter

About Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors. He writes about fisheries, marine-related topics, eastern coastal Maine communities and more for the BDN. He lives in Ellsworth. Follow him on Twitter at @billtrotter.